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Georgetown College women's basketball player Devanny King is breaking new ground for the Tigers. The 2015 graduate is the first female player at Georgetown to ever play professionally. The program, dating back to 1972, has had numerous talented and worthy players come through, but King is the first to make the decision to test the waters.
Back in March, the 6-foot-2 Ohio native boarded a plane, traveling to Australia where she signed to play with the State Basketball League's Lakeside Lightning.
"It's all really a dream come true," King said. "I wasn't ready to take my jersey off for the final time, but didn't really know how to go about taking that next step.
"I pursued my professional career of wanting to be an administrator in athletics, taking masters classes at Western Kentucky University. However, I was still working out and got word that I might have opportunities in Australia, so I gave it a shot."
Georgetown College women's basketball team had a quick learning curve integrating six true freshmen and a red-shirt freshman into the system with a junior and six seniors. Despite the overload in youth, coach Andrea McCloskey did not shy away from stiff non-conference competition.
"Our conference is one of the best in the NAIA," McCloskey said. "If you don't use the early games outside of league play to better yourself, especially when you are so young, you could be setting yourself for a rough experience."
The Tigers played 14 of their 29 games against teams ranked or receiving votes and defeated a No. 1 team during a stretch of seven wins in eight games.
Georgetown College women's basketball rallied from a slow start Thursday evening in the nightcap quarterfinal of the Mid-South Conference Tournament. The Tigers (14-15) scored 27 of the final 39 points for a touchdown advantage heading into halftime against University of Pikeville.
However, the No. 22 Bears (22-7) came out guns blazing from three-point range and quickly gained control in the final 20 minutes. UPike hit 7-of-13 from deep in the second half and 11-of-27 for the game for a 63-51 victory in the four-five match-up and the only upset on the women's side.
"We played hard, gained our composure late in the first quarter to really show what we are capable of," said GC coach Andrea McCloskey. "Unfortunately, our kryptonite of turnovers coupled with Pikeville's hot shooting was too much to overcome in the second half."
Emilie Ziese led the charge in Frankfort. She was the lone player with a double-double, 12 points and 10 rebounds. Jessica Foster finished her GC career with 12 points and nine rebounds.
Regular season men's and women's basketball wrapped up Saturday and the Mid-South Conference has announced seeds and tournament brackets for the upcoming week at the Frankfort Convention Center. On the men's side, Georgetown College won the regular season title with a 13-3 record, 2010-11 was the last time the Tigers were league champions and entered the tournament as the top seed. On the women's side, GC finished fourth with an 8-6 mark in the league.
The men will not know their opponent until after Thursday's noon first round game between the eight-nine seeds between Cumberland University and St. Catharine College. GC tips off 6 pm Friday against the winner in the quarterfinals.
Emilie Ziese scored a new career-high with a game-high 20 points and Georgetown College women's basketball pushed NCAA Division II Kentucky State University to the limits.
The Thorobreds (22-3) started slow and trailed by two heading into the final 10 minutes. However, the Tigers (14-14) could not contain KSU as they won by nine, 72-63, behind a near 30-point effort in the fourth quarter.
"We played a very solid game," said GC coach Andrea McCloskey. "Unfortunately we had a few mental mistakes down the stretch."