Bristol, Tenn. - Alisha Hope pocketed 22 points while Timisty Nelson added 20, leading North Greenville to a 78-68 win over King University in the Conference Carolinas opener for both teams.
North Greenville led the entire first period of play, leading by as many as 14 during the opening 20 minutes of play. The Tornado put together a run towards the middle of the period, cutting NGU's lead to just three points with 2:48 left in the half. The Crusaders responded with a run of their own, putting together a 7-2 run to end the half, led by Hope who had five points in the final two minutes of play.
North Greenville put together its best first half shooting performance of the season on Wednesday night, knocking down 45 percent of its shots from the floor, including a four of 10, performance from beyond the arc. King finished the opening frame shooting at just 30 percent from the floor. The Crusaders stayed consistent in the second half, hitting on 15 of 32 shots from the field, for 46 percent.
North Greenville continued its solid play in the second period, once again extending its lead to 16, the Crusaders' biggest advantage of the game. The Tornado would put together one more run, with 5:25 left on the game clock, outscoring North Greenville 14-8 in the final minutes of the game, but NGU would make key baskets down the stretch, keeping the Tornado at arms-length. The Crusaders hit six free throws in the final two minutes of play, including four from Emily Wampler to seal the victory and give NGU a 1-0 record in Conference Carolinas Play.
Wampler finished the game with nine points and led the Crusaders with nine rebounds. North Greenville also got help from the bench during Wednesday night's league showdown from freshmen Erika Cobb who deposited a career high 12 points. This is the first time since the 2011-2012 season that the Crusaders have opened conference play with a win. The Crusaders finished the season 14-4 in league play.
Wednesday night was also a milestone night for one of North Greenville's seniors, as Alisha Hope hit the 1000 career point mark with her last free throw with 44 seconds on the clock.
North Greenville will return to the court on Saturday night in Tigerville as they host Johnson C. Smith University in Hayes Gymnasium. Tipoff is scheduled for 2pm in Tigerville.