BRISTOL, Tenn. – The King University women's basketball finished second in the Conference Carolinas standings and three Tornado were honored on Thursday at a banquet prior to the conference tournament semifinals. Whitney Mitchell earned first team all-conference, Jalan Harper was selected third team and head coach Josh Thompson earned Coach of the Year honors.
Thompson takes Conference Carolinas Coach of the Year recognition for the first time in his six years leading the Tornado. He has guided King to second place finishes in each of the last three years, including a Conference Carolinas Tournament championship game appearance in 2015-16. This season King has won 23 games, their second 20-win season in the last three years. The 23 wins is the most since King became NCAA Division II and their most since winning 24 contests in 2003-04. The 19 conference wins are their most since joining Conference Carolinas and is believed to be the most in program history.
Mitchell garners all-conference honors for the second straight season, and first team All-Conference Carolinas recognition for the first time. The senior is having the best season of her career, averaging 12.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game, all career-highs. The Oak Ridge, Tenn., native is also shooting 43.9 percent from the floor, the best mark of her career. Mitchell leads Conference Carolinas in free throws, making 99 free throws this season. Earlier this year she set a career-high with eight assists in a win at Converse College. In her career, she has scored 948 points and is shooting 39.5 percent from the floor.
Harper was the Conference Carolinas Defensive Player of the Year a season ago, and this year she garners third team all-conference honors. The senior has been one of the top defenders in the league all season, leading Conference Carolinas with 75 steals for an average of 2.6 per game. She has made at least four steals in a game seven times and had at least five steals five times with a season-high of six steals. In her career, the Knoxville, Tenn., native has averaged 1.9 steals per game for a total of 201 steals. This season, Harper averages 7.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. Earlier this year she set a career-high with 13 rebounds in a win over UVa-Wise.
King is in action again tonight at 7:30 p.m. as the second seeded Tornado take on third seed University of Mount Olive. The contest will be played at Limestone College following the first semifinal between Limestone and Barton College.