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Devanny King tallied a new season-high (17), atoned for a rough outing a year ago in Lebanon, Tenn. and helped the No. 6 Tigers (13-3, 7-1) to a win over Cumberland University (8-8, 4-4).
The junior opened the game with back-to-back jumpers from the top of the key, as GC got off to a better start and withstood a late run for a 63-59 win.
King's most important two came with just more than a minute left in the game. At the 5:30 mark she hit one-of-two free throws for a 59-47 GC lead. The Bulldogs responded with a 9-0 run over the next four minutes and 21 seconds. With the shot clock winding down Kourtney Tyra found King in the right short corner. The junior calmly stroked the shot and gave GC the breathing room needed. Of course with 1:09 on the clock, celebrating was not her first thought.
"First thing on my mind as that shot went through, get back on defense and get a stop," King said. "Cumberland was making a run, and we needed a stop. This is a really good team and to start these next four games on the road with this win is good for our confidence. We need to focus and use this time to come together as a team in this stretch. I think you saw that tonight."
The Tigers shared the ball with 13 assists on 24 made baskets. Tyra led the way with five.
In the second half, Jessica Foster was the recipient multiple times. The sophomore had six of her 10 points in the final 20 minutes and was the only other double-figure scorer Thursday.
"Jess and I were talking before the game and this past year neither one of us felt we had a good game here," King said. "We just kept telling each other to make this a different story, and I think we both did.
"Her mid-range jumper was on tonight."
The tandem went 11-of-15 with 27 points and eight rebounds.
Lizza Jonas and Tyra were a point shy of double-figures with nine each. Mykal Farris came off the bench for a huge boost in the second half. The sophomore had all of her six points in the final 20. Andrea Howard chipped in with six, Teonia McCune four and Haley Armstrong two.
Jonas and Tyra led on the boards with six each.
TaCouya Allen had 11 of her 19 points in the second half and Katie Smith had 16 points for the only double-digit Bulldog scorers.
The Tigers are on a six-game winning streak, matching the longest under coach Andrea McCloskey. GC did it twice in 2012-13. The team stays on the road for a showdown Saturday against Lindsey Wilson. Tip is 3 pm in Columbia, Ky.