HARTSVILLE, SC – Coker played an outstanding second half Saturday afternoon to defeat Lees-McRae 80-70 in men’s collegiate basketball. The Cobras built an 18 point lead and held off the hot-shooting Bobcats down the stretch to move to 4-6, 2-1 in the CVAC. LMC drops to 3-7 overall and 0-3 in the conference.
Coker withstood a strong start by the bruising Bobcat squad and went on an 11-0 run to retake the lead at 18-16 with 6:43 left on the clock. The teams were tied at 24-24 in the last ten seconds but senior Blake Hall/Moncks Corner, SC drove to the hoop and made an acrobatic shot to give CC a two-point cushion at the break.
There were four more lead changes in the first 10 minutes of the second half but Coker slowly began to pull away, taking a 10 point advantage with 6:34 to play. Lees-McRae took a few ill-advised shots as the margin grew and the Cobras made them pay by converting on the other end. Their clutch play led to a 65-47 lead with 4:29 remaining and the game seemed to be in hand.
The Bobcats went to a three-point offense and a pressing defense in the final four minutes and had excellent results. LMC made six of the 12 three pointers they made in the game in the last few minutes and created several turnovers on defense.
Lees-McRae pulled back within five points with 44 seconds to play but finally the long-range bombs stopped connecting. Coker held off the furious comeback by stepping to the foul line and making 15-17 free-throws in the final 4:29.
Hall had his best game as a Cobra with a game-high 17 points, including a perfect 10-10 effort from the foul line. Junior Jason Fulwood/Cumming, GA scored 14 points and senior Jamie Jenkins/Columbia, SC had 13 markers.
Junior Johnny Jackson/Hartsville, SC had 10 points and seven rebounds and classmate Mark Duncan/Graham, TX turned in a workmanlike six points and six boards in 16 minutes.
Derrick Griffin led the Bobcats with 14 points and Tyreek Ramsuer had 13 points, six steals and six rebounds. Shawn Zellers totaled 12 points and five rebounds and Aaron Dugger scored 11 on the night.
Coker overcame 24 turnovers with solid shooting and by winning the rebounding battle 39-27. CC shot 51 percent overall and 56 percent from three-point range. The Cobras also made 31-40 free throws, while LMC managed to only connect on 46 percent of their attempts.
Coker returns to conference action at 7:30 on Monday night, January 10, at Erskine College.