BRISTOL, Tenn. – The King University men's basketball team finds themselves in a familiar spot, the Conference Carolinas Tournament semifinals as the fourth seeded Tornado defeated fifth seed Belmont Abbey College 85-67 on Tuesday night. The Tornado had to hold off an early second half run from the Crusaders, but King extended their lead to take the contest.
FINAL SCORE: No. 4 King, No. 5 Belmont Abbey 67
LOCATION: Student Center Complex; Bristol, Tenn.
RECORDS: King 18-11; Belmont Abbey 14-15
HOW IT HAPPENED
- King couldn't have asked for a better start as Jordan Floyd drilled a pair of triples and a Mack Owens layup forced a Belmont Abbey timeout three minutes in with King leading 10-2.
- Malcolm St. Louis started a 9-0 King run with a layup and C.J. Good capped the spurt with a triple, giving King a 35-19 lead.
- Back-to-back three-point baskets from Derick Pope gave King their largest lead of the game at 45-23 with two minutes remaining in the first half.
- Owens made a pair of free throws to cap the first half scoring, giving King a 47-26 lead at the break.
- The Crusaders started the second half on a tear, scoring the first 11 points to cut their deficit to 10 points.
- In all, Belmont Abbey went on a 19-4 run, cutting the King lead to 51-45 six minutes into the second half.
- However, Hunter LeVeau got the Tornado back on track when he drilled a triple to end the Crusader burst.
- St. Louis then converted a three-point play, giving King a 57-45 lead.
- Another Pope trifecta started a 7-0 Tornado spurt and Good capped the run with a layup, giving King a 66-49 lead with 10 minutes remaining.
- The Tornado extended their lead to as many as 21 points on four occasions in the second half, taking the contest 85-67.
- Pope led King with 21 points, shooting 6-for-9 from the field, including 5-for-5 from three-point range.
- St. Louis followed with a double-double, posting 17 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
- Floyd scored 16 points and Good added 14 points and six assists.
- Owens chipped in with eight points and six rebounds.
FOR THE FOES
- Ben Ferguson led the Crusaders with 18 points, shooting 6-for-13 from long range.
- Deion Lane posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds to go along with five assists.
- Gunna Hardarson scored 12 points and Jacob Wilson chipped in with 11 points.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- This marks the fourth time in five years as Conference Carolinas members the Tornado have advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament. A season ago King won their first conference tournament title.
- Pope came within one of his career-high with 21 points.
- St. Louis posted his fifth double-double of the season. Two of those double-doubles came against Pfeiffer.
- King advances to take on top seed Pfeiffer University on Saturday afternoon. The teams split the regular season series, King won 110-91 in the Student Center Complex and the Falcons took 114-111 victory in Misenheimer.
- King travels to take on Pfeiffer on Saturday. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:00 p.m., following the first semifinal between Limestone College and Barton College.