BRISTOL, Tenn. – For the second straight season, the King University women’s basketball has advanced to the Conference Carolinas Tournament semifinals as the second seeded Tornado defeated seventh seed Belmont Abbey College 85-51 on Monday night. The score was tied after one quarter, but King used a 20-1 run gain separation at the end of the first half.
FINAL SCORE: No. 2 King 85, No. 7 Belmont Abbey 51
LOCATION: Student Center Complex; Bristol, Tenn.
RECORDS: King 23-6, Belmont Abbey 11-17
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Belmont Abbey scored the first seven points of the game and held a 9-2 advantage before the Tornado scored eight straight points.
- Sheena Johnsongave King a 10-9 lead with her first two points of the contest midway through the first quarter.
- At that point the teams went back-and-forth as there were four ties and four lead changes in the opening stanza.
- The score was knotted at 19 going into the second quarter and the score was again tied at 21 when the Tornado made their move.
- After the Crusaders shot 53.3 percent in the first quarter, the Tornado defense clamped down in the second quarter, allowing Belmont Abbey to shoot 9.1 percent in the second quarter.
- The Tornado defense held the Crusaders to three points and one field goal in the second quarter as Belmont Abbey went without a field goal for the final seven minutes of the stanza.
- In that time, the Tornado offense turned a 21-21 tie into a 42-22 halftime lead with a 20-1 run, including 17 straight over the final three minutes to lead by 20 at the half.
- Kori Westand Amy Van Deventer started the run with back-to-back buckets before Demisha Porter and Jalan Harper connected on consecutive three-point baskets.
- Ashley Albertsongave King a 42-22 lead at the break with a bucket in the waning seconds.
- The Tornado scored the first two points after the break, pushing their run to 22-1 and 19 straight points.
- A pair of Johnson free throws stretched the King lead to 59-33 with three minutes remaining in the third quarter as King led 61-39 after three.
- The Tornado used a 7-0 run to extend their lead to 72-41 before taking the contest 85-51 to move on to Thursday’s semifinals.
- King hit the offensive glass hard, scoring 25 second chance points and turned 21 Belmont Abbey turnovers into 31 points.
- Johnson led five scorers in double figures with 13 points while West followed with 12 points and six rebounds.
- Albertson added 11 points and five rebounds while Halper accounted for 10 points and five rebounds.
- Whitney Mitchelladded 10 points and Van Deventer chipped in with eight points and 11 rebounds.
FOR THE FOES
- Chrystal Ezechukwu led Belmont Abbey with 16 points and six rebounds, shooting 7-for-9 from the floor.
- Gabrielle Bethel added nine points and seven rebounds.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- King posted five scorers in double figures for the second straight contest and for the fifth time this season.
- The win moves King to the Conference Carolinas Tournament semifinals where they will face familiar foe the University of Mount Olive. The Tornado have defeated the third seeded Trojans twice this season.
- King also defeated Mount Olive 74-70 in the semifinals at Limestone College last season.
- The Tornado are 1-1 against Mount Olive in conference tournament play as the seventh seeded Trojans defeated the Tornado in the quarterfinals in 2014-15.
- The Conference Carolinas Tournament shifts to Limestone for the semifinals and finals on Thursday and Friday. King will take on Mount Olive at 7:30 p.m., following the first semifinal that features Limestone and Barton College.