BRISTOL, T.N. – King College waited until the final seconds to take the only lead of the game as Kalen Collins hit a basket with three seconds left to lift the Lady Tornado to 65-64 victory over Pfeiffer (N.C.) University on Friday night. This was the season opener for both teams as King went to 1-0 while Pfeiffer starts 0-1. Collins, a junior forward from Wise, Va., finished with six points in the contest as she was 3-for-5.
Pfeiffer had the ball with under 30 seconds left and after a time out, Domonique China was trapped in the corner and stepped across the half-court line turning the ball over to King. Brooke Johnson (Roan Mountain, Tenn.) had a shot within 10 feet and King got the offensive rebound with 5 seconds left. On the inbounds play, Derika Mooney (Athens, Tenn.) shoveled a pass to Collins in the paint for the eventual game winner. It was Mooney’s fifth assist which was a game best. Devona Knight’s 35-foot attempt at the buzzer fell harmlessly to the ground.
Six straight points by the visitors after King tied the game at 2-2 in the early moments. The Lady Tornado got within two, 10-8, but the lead ballooned back to eight. Eventually King trailed by as many as 14 as Pfeiffer doubled up the score with 7:51 left in the half.
Five straight King points got the deficit under double-digits. The margin got with six, 31-25, with just over four minutes on the clock after Ashley Deans (Greeneville, Tenn.) hit a three from the right corner. The visitors took a 40-29 lead into the locker room at halftime.
In the final half, King cut the lead down to two on two occasions, but never could come closer. With under four minutes left Pfeiffer built a 62-53 lead thanks to seven straight points. From that point to the end of the game King outscored the Lady Falcons 12-2 with the final two from Collins.
Deans poured in a team-high 23 points for King. She had four points in the final four minutes as well after being held to six first-half points. Johnson finished with a dozen points along with eight rebounds, three assists and a steal.
Knight led all scorers with 27 points. She was 10-for-18 from the field and 7-for-11 at the free-throw line. China poured in 15 points while Christina Harvey had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
The Lady Tornado was half and half from the field. King went 27-for-54 (50.0 percent) in the game, 12-for-24 (50.0 percent) in the first half and 15-for-30 (50.0 percent) in the second half. Pfeiffer finished the game 26-for-59 (44.1 percent). In the opening half the Lady Falcons went 15-for-29 (51.7 percent) and in the last half Pfeiffer cooled down to 11-for-30 (36.7 percent).
Points in the paint changed things for King. In the first half King had six points in the paint while Pfeiffer had 10. The second half saw the Lady Tornado score 20 points in the paint and holding Pfeiffer to eight.
The Lady Tornado used the bench for 17 points with no bench points coming from the Lady Falcons. Cheyenne Thornsberry (Bristol, Tenn.) had eight points off the Lady Tornado bench.
King committed 21 turnovers while forcing 13. Both teams scored 11 points off turnovers. However, in the first half Pfeiffer scored 10 points on 14 Lady Tornado turnovers.
The home team had one more 3-pointer, 5-4, than Pfeiffer. Two of the Lady Tornado’s long range baskets came from newcomer Jana Gross (Dayton, Ohio).
The rebounding battle went to King, 40-27, including an 11-8 advantage on the offensive glass. The Lady Tornado tallied 13 second-chance points off the offensive rebounds.