BRISTOL, N.C. - Behind double-figure scoring from four Falcons players and a stellar defensive performance from sophomore Silvere Aluko, the Pfeiffer men's basketball team defeated King 72-69 in Conference Carolinas action Saturday night. With the win the Falcons improve to 6-19 overall and 3-12 in conference play. The loss drops King's overall record to 13-12 and their conference record to 10-5.
Offensively, Pfeiffer was led by freshman Mike Smith who had 17 points on the matchup, and leads the team with 536 points for the season. Smith was joined by three of his teammates in the double figure club; with sophomore Armin Omanovic chipping in 13, sophomore AJ Clark contributing 12, and sophomore Mark Goods getting in on the action and adding ten of his own. The Tornado had two in double figures, and were led by Hunter LeVeau who topped all players with 20 points.
The Falcons trailed King for the majority of the first half until a jumper by Clark put the visitors up by one with 4:29 left. King responded quickly with a three-pointer by Logan Lyle following the media timeout, giving the lead back to the Tornado. But Pfeiffer had gotten a taste of the lead, and weren't giving up that easily. Following a layup by Omanovic with 3:19 left in the half, Clark made two free throws on the next Pfeiffer possession to give the Falcons the lead. Pfeiffer took a four point lead into halftime and rode that momentum straight out of the locker room to start the second stanza.
The second half was all Pfeiffer with the Falcons maintaining the lead for the first 17 minutes and 46 seconds of the period. With 2:14 left in the game, a three-pointer by LeVeau gave King a one point advantage, but it would be their final lead of the game. On the next Pfeiffer possession, Omanovic was fouled while shooting a three-pointer an subsequently made all of his free throws, putting the Falcons back in front of the home team. Pfeiffer would score the remainder of their points from the charity stripe to hold on for the victory against the third place team in the conference.
Aluko led all players with seven blocks on the evening. Aluko now has 73 total for the season and leads Conference Carolinas, averaging 2.9 blocks per game. Smith led all players with three steals on the evening, bringing his team-leading total to 49 for the season.
The Falcons close out the regular season on February 27th when they travel to Erskine for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off.