BRISTOL, Tenn. – The King University women’s basketball team opened their season against one of the top teams in Conference Carolinas, Emmanuel College, who had already played a pair of games this season. The Tornado kept the game close, but ultimately fell to the Lions, 88-78.
Following a Kiki Samsel triple that evened the score, Emmanuel (3-0, 1-0) rolled off seven straight points before an Ali Golden trifecta got the Tornado back on the board. Emmanuel then went on a 13-5 run, opening up a 23-11 lead, and held a 25-16 advantage after the first 10 minutes.
Caroline Harville got the Tornado (0-1, 0-1) offense going with a layup early in the quarter. A Jada Owens layup a couple minutes later gave King their first lead of the game and capped an 8-0 Tornado run.
The score was even at 35 following a pair of Trinity Lee free throws before the Lions opened up a 40-35 lead. Golden then beat the halftime buzzer as she crossed midcourt and drilled the shot, pulling King within 40-38 at the break.
The Tornado used the momentum from that triple to start the third quarter, scoring the first seven points. Owens started the run with a jump shot before Ryleigh Fritz gave King a 45-40 advantage with a free throw.
King grabbed their lead of six points following a Lee triple that put King ahead 52-46. The Tornado held that lead until the Lions went on a run, outscoring King 19-5 over the final 5:29 of the third quarter to take a 67-59 lead into the final stanza.
King pulled within 71-64 following a Harville layup with nine minutes remaining, but the Tornado couldn’t get a run going the rest of the quarter. Emmanuel held on to take the contest 88-78.
Golden led King with 20 points while Lee followed with 17 points. Fritz and Harville followed with eight points each. Fritz grabbed a team-high five rebounds.
Breanna Locke led Emmanuel with 30 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists. Jazmin Allen added 24 points and 13 points.
King returns to the court on Saturday when they host Bluefield State College at 2:00 p.m.