BRISTOL, Tenn. – It's not always how you start, and the King University women's basketball team got off to a slow start against Converse College on Monday night. However, the Tornado shooters, namely Chelsea Bowling and Brittany Stringer brought the Tornado back with their three-point shooting en route to the 81-65 win.
Converse (1-22, 1-14 CC) controlled the game early and held a 20-13 advantage with 12 minutes left before Tia Keitt converted a three-point play. Sara Mitchell followed with a triple to pull King (15-8, 9-6 CC) within three only a minute later.
Bonnie Durrett nailed a pair of free throw two minutes later to pull King within one before Stephanie Brantley evened the score at 24 with a jump shot with six minutes left in the first half. Stringer then struck for her first of five triples in the contest to give the Tornado a 27-24 lead. One minute later, Stringer struck again from long range, to stretch King's to 32-26.
The Valkyries then went on a run and got within 34-33 before King closed the half with a barrage of triples over the final two minutes. Bowling hit the first two before Kelly Jackson capped the first half scoring with a three ball from the left wing to give King a 46-35 advantage at the break.
In the second half, the teams went back-and-forth until Stringer ignited a Tornado run with another triple. Jackson and Durrett added buckets before Bowling capped the 10-0 spurt with another three-point basket to give King their largest lead of the game at 64-48 with 10 minutes remaining.
Converse tried to comeback, and got within seven points with five minutes left, but a Durrett layup and another Stringer three-point basket thwarted the Valkyries' momentum. From that point, the Tornado scored seven of the games' final 10 points to take the contest 81-65.
Bowling went 6-for-8 from three-point land to lead the Tornado with 18 points. Stringer followed with a career-high 15 points on 5-for-9 shooting from three-point range. Her previous career-high was nine points set on December 13, 2013 against the University of Pikeville. Durrett followed with 12 points and a team-high nine rebounds while Keitt rounded out four scorers in double figures with 10 points and five assists.
Brooke Garrison led Converse with 16 points and 12 rebounds while Jenna White and Avery Winchester followed with 12 points apiece. Erin Horne chipped in with 10 points.
King will be in action again on Wednesday when they travel to Belmont Abbey College. Tipoff from the Wheeler Center is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.