BRISTOL, Tenn. --- The King College women's basketball team erased a narrow halftime deficit on Monday night en route to a 55-52 win over Lees-McRae College in Conference Carolinas play, putting together a 28-17 run in the second half.
King (2-13, 2-4 CC) posted a field goal percentage of 37 percent on the night, including a 52.9 percent clip in the second half, while holding Lees-McRae (5-7, 1-5 CC) to a mark of 32.1 percent in the contest. The teams finished the night even on the glass, as each squad tallied 37 rebounds in the contest.
Megan Tate (High Point, N.C.) led the way for the Bobcats with 10 points, while Paige Whitaker (Harrisburg, N.C.) added nine markers with a trio of three-pointers. Icey Patterson (Seneca, S.C.) and DeAnna Waters (Upper Marlboro, Md.) each tallied eight points, while Kerri Belcher (Roanoke, Va.) and Patterson chipped in game-highs of nine rebounds and four steals, respectively.
Brooke Johnson paced the Tornado with a game-high 16 points, converting 14-of-16 attempts at the free throw line, while Kalen Collins added 10 markers on 4-of-6 shooting. Mikki Oliver, Alley Sprouse, and Allison Bosse each chipped in six points, while Oliver and Collins both posted a team-high six rebounds.
Both teams struggled from the floor in the opening 20 minutes, combining for a 16-for-57 clip in the first half. Lees-McRae started strong, scoring the game's first seven points and pushing the lead to 20-11 on a Patterson jumper with just over three minutes left on the clock. The Tornado answered with a 10-4 run over the final three minutes, cutting the lead to 24-21 heading into the intermission.
Lees-McRae responded in the early moments of the second half, pushing the lead to 35-27 with a triple by Candace Flowers at the 15:04 mark on the heels of an 11-6 run. King countered following a media timeout, answering with a 9-0 run to claim a narrow 36-35 advantage on a pair of Collins freebies with 10:55 to play.
After Waters converted the put-back to put the Bobcats up 37-36, the Tornado launched a 10-3 run to open a 46-40 lead on a Bosse jumper with 6:12 to play. The Bobcats would cut the lead to 50-49 on a critical triple by Flowers with less than two minutes left on the clock, capping a 6-2 spurt before Johnson converted a quartet of freebies to push the margin to 54-49 with 25 ticks remaining.
Whitaker answered for the Bobcats 11 seconds later, knocking down a long three-pointer to cut the margin to 54-52 before Chloe Parker (Chicago, Ill.) forced a jump ball and change of possession with nine ticks left, giving the Bobcats a chance to tie or take the lead. King's defense then came up big on the in-bound play, denying the pass and forcing the turnover to clinch the victory.
Lees-McRae returns to the court on Wednesday when the Bobcats travel to Tigerville, S.C. to take on North Greenville University at 5:30 p.m. in a conference showdown.
- LMC -