BRISTOL, Tenn. — The King University women’s basketball team used a 27-7 run in the opening quarter as the Tornado led wire-to-wire in an 86-63 win over visiting Tusculum College Friday night at the KU Student Center Complex in the season-opener for both teams. The contest was part of the South Atlantic Conference / Conference Carolinas Challenge.
Tusculum (0-1) will close out the weekend on Saturday as the take on Lees-McRae College at 4 p.m. in Bristol.
Sheena Johnson led King with her 20 points as she shot 8-of-11 from the floor with three 3-pointers. Teammate Whitney Mitchell finished with 16 points and six assists, while Arnelle Collins added 15 markers in the victory.
Tusculum was led by senior Maelyn Head as she poured in 14 points while shooting a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line. Sophomore Callie Patterson and senior Jasmine Queen each posted 10 points in the loss.
The Tornado took their largest lead of the game at 38-13 with 5:04 left in the second quarter before settling for a 43-23 lead at halftime.
Tusculum battled back in the third quarter and trimmed the deficit to 55-43 following a Regan Croff basket with 2:50 left in the period. But that would be as close as the Pioneers would get as King shot 48.4 percent, including 8-of-18 from three-point land. TC shot 40 percent for the game with five 3-pointers and connected on 10 of its 12 free throw attempts for 83.3 percent.
King edged Tusculum 39-37 in rebounding with KU’s Amy Van Deventer leading the board attack with 10 rebounds, including five offensive boards. Queen led Tusculum on the glass with her six rebounds and three steals, while Morgan Depew and rookie Jasmine Williams contributed five boards apiece.