Men’s basketball defeats King in road battle, 87-83

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Lander earned its first-ever win over King on Saturday afternoon (File photo by Laura Brown)

BRISTOL, Tenn. – The Lander men’s basketball team went on a 17-8 run over the final nine minutes on Saturday afternoon as the Bearcats earned their first-ever win over King, defeating the Tornado 87-83.

The Bearcats improve to 2-1 on the year, while King falls to 1-3.

Nicklas Jonsson led the Bearcats with 20 points, while Jarryd Coleman added 15 points off the bench. JR Washington led the team with nine rebounds and five assists, while chipping in 13 points. Jordan Dingle netted 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Rahu Purdie finished with 13 points and five assists.

Hunter LeVeau led King with points, while Derick Pope finished with nine rebounds.

In a game that featured six ties and 18 lead changes, Lander took a 45-41 lead into halftime after back-to-back threes from Purdie and Jonsson. Another three from Jonsson to open the second half gave Lander its largest lead of the day.

King tied the game at 50-50 and a 9-3 run from the Tornado put King ahead 64-58 at the 12:08 mark.

Trailing 75-70 with 8:30 remaining, Lander reclaimed the lead on consecutive threes from Dingle and Jonsson. Following a jumper that put King back on top, Dingle and Jonsson nailed back-to-back treys again, increasing the Lander lead to 82-77 with 6:18 to go.

Clinging to a one-point lead with under two minutes to go, Lander turned to Washington, who drained a jumper to put the Bearcats up 84-81 with 1:13 remaining. After a missed three from King, Washington put the game away with a three-pointer with just 21 seconds to go.

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