BELMONT, N.C. – The King University women's basketball team couldn't have gotten off to a much better start at Belmont Abbey College on Saturday. The Tornado shot better than 50 percent in the first half, opening up a double digit lead at the break. However, the Crusaders used a big second half to overcome the deficit and stun the Tornado 81-78 with a late triple.
FINAL SCORE: Belmont Abbey 81, King 78
LOCATION: Wheeler Center; Belmont, N.C.
RECORDS: King 13-12, 10-8 Conference Carolinas; Belmont Abbey 18-8, 15-4 Conference Carolinas
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Tornado got off to a hot start in the first quarter, shooting 64.7 percent to open up a 25-19 lead after the opening stanza.
- King used an 8-1 run to turn a 13-11 lead in to a 21-12 lead following a Megan Addison layup.
- Kristen Cupples went 2-from-2 from three-point range in the quarter, and Arnelle Collins followed with five points in the period.
- As impressive as the Tornado offense was in the first quarter, the defense was equally impressive in the second quarter, holding Belmont Abbey to 13 points and 5-for-16 shooting from the floor as King extended their lead in the second quarter.
- Arielle Holloway led the Tornado charge in the second period with eight points in the stanza as King outscored Belmont Abbey 23-13 in the quarter.
- Over the final five minutes of the quarter, King went on a 12-5 run, including an 8-0 spurt in the final two minutes to open up a 48-30 advantage at the break.
- Holloway started the spurt with back-to-back triples and Jada Owens grabbed an offense rebound and made a layup with two seconds remaining in the half.
- King scored the first four points of the third quarter to open up a 52-30 lead.
- However, the Crusaders started to chip away at their deficit, going on a 13-2 run, including eight straight points, cutting the King lead to 56-48.
- The Tornado held their lead the, but the Crusaders scored the final bucket of the quarter, giving King a 65-58 lead going to the fourth quarter.
- In the third quarter, Belmont Abbey shot 10-from-15, 66.7 percent from the floor.
- As well as Belmont Abbey shot in the third quarter, they shot even better in the fourth, going 9-for-13 from the floor for a 69.2 percentage.
- The Crusaders opened the quarter on an 11-4 run to even the score at 69. They then took their first lead since the opening minutes of the game at 71-70 on a Briana Grier bucket.
- However, King responded with a three-point play from Ali Golden to regain the lead.
- That lead was short-lived, however, as Belmont Abbey went on a 7-0 run to gain a 78-73 advantage, their largest lead of the game.
- Cupples came up big for the Tornado, drilling a triple with 1:03 remaining, evening the score at 78.
- The score remained the same until Hannah Roney connected from long range with 1.6 seconds remaining, giving the Crusaders the lead.
- Following a Tornado timeout, King couldn't get off a shot, dropping the contest 81-78.
- Kori West led King with 16 points to go along with eight rebounds.
- Collins and Holloway followed with 14 points apiece, with Holloway going 5-for-6 from the floor and 3-for-4 from three.
- Taylor Freeman rounded out four scorers in double figures with 10 points and added six rebounds.
FOR THE FOES
- Alex Busch led six Belmont Abbey scorers in double figures with 20 points.
- The quartet of Emry Tsitouris, Roney, Allie Downing and Keyanna Spivey all scored 12 points. Tsitouris added nine rebounds and Spivey collected seven boards.
- Grier scored 10 points and added 10 assists.
- King hosts Emmanuel College on Wednesday night. Tipoff from the Student Center Complex is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
- Belmont Abbey travels to Lees-McRae College on Tuesday night.