BRISTOL, Tenn. – The King University men's basketball team fell to a hot-shooting West Liberty University team on Tuesday evening. The 18th-ranked Hilltoppers grabbed the lead early and didn't look back, taking the contest 116-95.
FINAL SCORE: #18 West Liberty 116, King 95
LOCATION: Student Center Complex; Bristol, Tenn.
RECORDS: King 7-3; West Liberty 8-2
HOW IT HAPPENED
- West Liberty opened the game by scoring 19 of the first 21 points, including a 15-0 run to gain the advantage.
- The Tornado deficit grew to as many as 25 before Mike Salomon drilled a triple to start a short King spurt.
- JaMarquis Johnson cut the King deficit to 35-19 with a basket midway through the first half.
- The Hilltoppers held their lead there for the rest of the first half, holding a 62-43 lead at the break.
- West Liberty used an 11-2 run to open up a 76-47 lead in the opening minutes of the second half.
- The Hilltopper lead grew to as many as 37 at 94-57 with 11 minutes remaining.
- King chipped away at their deficit down the stretch, but ultimately fell 116-95.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Kalen Clifton led the Tornado with 29 points to go along with eight rebounds.
- James Brown added 16 points while Salomon accounted for 11 points.
- Justin Frazier chipped in with 10 points and seven assists.
- King shot 48.5 percent from the floor.
FOR THE FOES
- West Liberty shot 61.4 percent from the floor, including a 55.6 mark from long range.
- Dalton Bolon led West Liberty with 30 points on 7-for-12 shooting from three-point range.
- Will Yoakum followed with 19 points while Yahel Hill added 18 points.
- Eric Meininger chipped in with 10 points, six rebounds and five assists.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- The 29 points for Clifton sets a career-high. His previous best was 28, which he set twice. The last time was on November 17 against Carson-Newman.
- Frazier set a season-high with seven assists, coming within one of his career-high of eight.
- King returns to action on December 29 at the University of Southern Indiana. Tipoff is slated for 2:00 p.m. (ET)
- West Liberty is in action again on December 30 against Tiffin University.