by Benny Benton
WILSON, N.C. – The Barton College women's basketball team rolled to its sixth straight victory on Saturday with a 71-51 league win over defending Conference Carolinas Tournament champion King University.
The Lady Bulldogs (9-5, 4-2) never trailed in the contest, and largely took control after a 28-point second quarter. Down 14 at intermission, 37-23, the Tornado (5-9, 2-5) did cut the deficit to single digits on three occasions early in the third period, but Barton outscored King 16-5 over the remainder of the quarter to squash any thoughts of a comeback.
In Friday night's win over Lees-McRae College, Barton dominated with inside play, but against King the Lady Bulldogs proved they had some outside weapons as well. BC drained nine 3-pointers in the victory, and was more accurate from beyond the arc (41 percent) than inside it (34 percent).
Redshirt senior Alex Kimble led the Barton effort, pouring in 23 points. The Virginia Beach, Va., resident was 5-of-13 from 3-point range and 8-of-18 overall in registering her third straight outing with at least 20 points.
Karimah Dean added 11 points and nine rebounds for the Lady Bulldogs, while Kianna Wynn contributed 10 points and seven boards. Freshman Shanika Peterkin blocked six shots for the second straight game and claimed 10 rebounds, and Dinah Neal issued a game-high seven assists in addition to chipping in nine points. Taura Jones provided a pair of 3-pointers and eight total points coming off the bench.
The Tornado was paced by Taylor Freeman, who stepped off the bench to score 12 points, the only King player to reach double-figures. Kristen Cupples and Madison Davis both added seven for King, and Kori West contributed six points and seven rebounds.
Both teams got off to a terrible start. King was just 3-of-13 (23 percent) from the field in the first period and Barton was even worse, just 3-of-20 (15 percent). The Lady Bulldogs did have a 3-pointer among their three made baskets and added two free throws to take a 9-6 lead after one period.
Barton made up for its play in the second period, shooting 56 percent from the floor overall (9 of 16) and going 4-of-6 from beyond the arc (67 percent).
With the Lady Bulldogs leading just four at 20-16, senior Tatyana Jackson drilled a 3-pointer, and Kimble and Neal followed with jumpers to comprise a 7-0 run and put BC up double-digits for the first time, 27-16, with 3:16 left in the half.
King cut the deficit back to six on two occasions, the latter one at 29-23 following a Freeman jumper with 1:49 remaining before intermission. However, Hanna McGrory responded with a 3-pointer for Barton on its next possession, and Jones scored the final five points of the half to send BC to the break up 37-23.
The Tornado chopped the deficit down to nine early in the third quarter after two Freeman free throws, but Wynn scored a jumper for Barton, Kimble followed with a 3-pointer and Dean added a layup as BC pulled away again towards its sixth win in a row.
Barton enjoyed a significant 43 to 26 rebounding edge and a 9 to 1 margin in blocked shots. The Lady Bulldogs were nearly perfect from the free throw line in the game, going 14-of-15 from the charity stripe (93 percent).
The Lady Bulldogs will put their streak on the line next Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. when they host rival University of Mount Olive.