BRISTOL, Tenn. – As the top seed in the Conference Carolinas Men's Basketball Championship, the King University men's basketball team had to erase a halftime deficit against eighth-seeded North Greenville University on Tuesday night. The Tornado used a big second half to advance with the 90-81 victory.
FINAL: King 90, North Greenville 81
LOCATION: Student Center Complex; Bristol, Tenn.
RECORDS: King 23-6; North Greenville 11-17
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Only two points away from the all-time scoring record, Jordan Floyd didn't waste any time breaking Mark Dockery's mark as he drilled a triple on the game's first possession.
- Justin Frazier followed with a trifecta to give King the early 6-0 lead.
- However, North Greenville used a 13-0 run to take a 14-8 lead before Mike Salomon came up with a triple for the Tornado.
- From there, North Greenville held the lead for the remainder of the half as the Crusaders shot 61.3 percent from the floor in the opening 20 minutes.
- The Tornado deficit grew to 33-21 with nine minutes remaining in the half before a pair of Brandon Lamberth free throws.
- Josh Releford then connected on consecutive three-point shots that got the near-sellout Student Center Complex crow on their feet.
- Every time King got within two possessions, the Crusaders would extend the lead as they held a 54-45 lead at halftime.
- The Tornado defense turned up the intensity in the second half, holding North Greenville to a 24.0 field goal percentage.
- Consecutive triples from Frazier and James Brown started a comeback for the Tornado.
- A Salomon trifecta capped the 12-4 run with a triple that pulled the Tornado even at 64.
- However, the Crusaders scored the next six points to regain their advantage.
- King again worked their way back and took a 73-72 lead following an offensive rebound and layup from Damion Ottman with seven minutes remaining.
- Salomon scored four straight points to give King a 77-74 lead as the Tornado started to instill their will on the Crusaders in the final five minutes.
- Floyd then scored eight straight points, giving King an 85-79 lead and forcing a Crusader timeout with 2:51 remaining.
- Out of the break, Floyd again came up with a triple that gave King their largest lead at 88-79 with 2:29 remaining.
- Ottman made a pair of free throws to give King the 90-81 victory.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Floyd led King with 36 points, going 12-for-15 from the free throw line and knocking down six triples.
- Releford followed with 15 points off the bench.
- Salomon added 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds while Brown added 10 points and eight rebounds.
- Ottman scored nine points and grabbed nine rebounds.
- Frazier led the Tornado with 10 assists and added six points.
FOR THE FOES
- Jacob Redding led North Greenville with 23 points off the bench.
- DJ Brooks followed with 21 points.
- Jalon Cokley added 17 points and 10 rebounds while C.J. Jamison chipped in with 11 points.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Floyd became King's all-time leader scoring with the first basket of the game, breaking Mark Dockery's record of 1,826 points that was set in 2011.
- Floyd now has 18 games with at least 30 points this season and has 1,860 career points.
- Frazier matched a career-high with 10 assists.
- King advances to the Conference Carolinas Men's Basketball Championship semifinals where they will face fourth seed Southern Wesleyan University on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
- The semifinals and finals will be played at Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium on the campus of Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C.
- The championship game will take play on Sunday at 4:00 p.m.