The King women's basketball team scored the first 15 points of the game and never looked back as the Tornado defeated Belmont Abbey 84-61 this afternoon at the Wheeler Center. King improves to 5-4 overall and 4-0 in Conference Carolinas, while the Crusaders suffer their first conference loss with a record of 3-5 overall and 2-1 in Conference Carolinas.
King led 31-10 after the opening quarter as the Tornado made seven of their first nine shots and finished 11-17 from the field in the opening ten minutes. The Crusaders were just 5-15 shooting from the floor while not attempting a three pointer.
The second quarter was more competitive, as the Belmont Abbey outscored King 18-17, but the Abbey never cut the lead to any fewer than 18 points as the Tornado carried a 48-28 lead into halftime.
The visitors enjoyed their double digit lead through the rest of the game, as the Tornado outscored Belmont Abbey 22-15 in the penultimate quarter. Belmont Abbey never cut the lead down to any fewer than 16 points, while King took its biggest lead of the game at 70-43 with 35 seconds left in the quarter.
Belmont Abbey outscored King 18-14 in the final period as King won by 23 points.
Taylor Johnson led the Crusaders with 15 points on 6-12 shooting. Alex Busch added 13 and Gabrielle Bethel contributed ten and nine rebounds. Alexius Hampton notched career-high with 10 assists. She also had a steal.
The Crusaders shot 40 percent from the field (27-66) and finished 5-13 from three point range and just 2-6 from the free throw line.
King converted 41 percent of its shots (31-75), including 11-34 from three point range (32 percent) and 11-15 from the charity stripe.
Belmont Abbey is back in action Saturday afternoon at 4:00 when it welcomes Mount Olive to the Wheeler Center in the last game before the Christmas break.