TIGERVILLE, SC- North Greenville University used a hot start and Amonzo Gantt's even hotter hand to deal Coker College a 81-65 defeat Saturday afternoon in Hayes Gymnasium. Gantt (Royston, GA) recorded his second double-double in as many games and his third of the season as he scored 27 points and hauled in 13 rebounds. Jordan Richmond (Russellville, AR) scored 19 points, while PJ Schumacher (Waynesburg, PA) and Josh Burgess (Pickens, SC) added 11 and 10 points respectively.
The Crusaders scored 16 points before Coker was able to make a shot. Taylor Hukill finally stopped the bleeding for the Cobras by hitting a three-pointer at the 14:09 mark in the first half. North Greenville held Coker at bay for the next five minutes, but then the Cobras began to make a run. Coker was able to pull within six points several times, but the Crusaders held firm against the rallies and maintained a 40-32 halftime lead.
Coker pulled within three points on an Abram Ludd three-pointer with 11:31 remaining in the game. Richmond responded by hitting two free throws to give the Crusaders a little cushion. Gantt scored North Greenville's next six points and extended the lead back to nine. Richmond gave the Crusaders a 12 point lead with a three-point basket at the 6:50 mark. Coker pulled within single-digits once more, but again North Greenville withstood the charge and responded with a run of its own after Burgess made a free throw to convert a three-point play with 4:53 left in the game. Then, North Greenville ran out to 16-point lead and won 81-65.
North Greenville won the battle of the paint, out-scoring the Cobras 42-14 down low. Also, the Crusaders kept turnovers, which has been an Achilles' Heel all season long, to a minimum, especially late in the game when Coker made its run.
"I thought our guys did a great job of handling their runs," remarked head coach Chad Lister. "Coker did a great job of battling back and our guys did good responding."
"I am proud of our effort and that our guys kept their composure. It helped us get a lot of easy baskets."
Johnny Jackson led all Cobra scorers with 14 points. Blake Terrell and Ben Brim each added 11 points.
North Greenville improves to 4-10 on the season, while Coker falls to 2-9. The Crusaders look to make it three wins in a row as they visit Allen University Tuesday night.