King rallies late for 63-55 win over Bobcats

BRISTOL, Tenn. --- The King University women's basketball team rallied from a six-point deficit midway through the second half with a 20-6 run, and held off Lees-McRae College in the final moments en route to a 63-55 victory in Conference Carolinas play on Saturday evening.

King (4-2, 2-0 CC) won the night on the glass by a 49-33 margin in a defensive battle, besting Lees-McRae (4-6, 1-1 CC), 14-9 on the offensive boards, while knocking down 40 percent of its attempts from the floor. The Bobcats converted 20 King turnovers into 15 points, and connected on 11-of-14 tries at the charity stripe.

Lauren Lewis (Concord, N.C.) paced the Bobcats with a game-high 14 points, knocking down four three-pointers, while Alyssa Munson (Summerfield, N.C.) added 12 points with a 6-for-10 night from the floor. Kerri Belcher (Roanoke, Va.) and Layana De Souza (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) each chipped in nine points, as Belcher and Kabrina Truesdale (Wilmington, N.C.) both pulled down seven rebounds.

Bonnie Durrett led King with eight points and a game-high 13 points, as Kelly Jackson and Stephanie Brantley both recorded eight points. Tia Keitt, Chelsea Bowling, and Whitney Mitchell each chipped in seven points.

King jumped out to a 17-8 lead before the Bobcats responded, closing the gap to 22-19 with an 11-5 spurt that was capped by a Munson jumper at the 4:47 mark. After the Tornado countered with a pair of buckets, Lees-McRae ended the half with a 9-0 run to take a 28-26 lead into the intermission.

The teams traded momentum throughout the second half, with King opening the period with an 11-4 run to claim a 37-32 advantage with 16:35 left on the clock. Lees-McRae quickly countered with a 13-2 surge, opening its largest lead of the game at 45-39 following a Lewis triple at the 10:41 mark.

The Tornado answered with a 12-5 spurt, taking the lead for good after Keitt gave King a narrow 51-50 advantage with 4:54 to go. King would score 11 of the game's final 16 points to close out the win, as Tayler Collins (Fayetteville, N.C.) capped the night with a late jumper for the Bobcats.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Thursday, December 19 when the Bobcats travel to Wingate, N.C. to take on Wingate University in non-conference play at 11 a.m.

- LMC -