LAURINBURG, N.C.—The St. Andrews Presbyterian College men’s basketball team hit 23-of-25 (92.0%) free throws in the final 20 minutes as the Knights finished the game on a 38-15 run to rally back from a double-digit second-half deficit and defeat CVAC rival Coker College, 77-67, on Wednesday night in Harris Court.
The Knights, who extended their season-best win streak to three games, finished the contest going 32-for-36 (88.9%) from the foul line to improve to 6-9 overall and 3-5 in the CVAC. The Cobras fell to 3-11 overall and 0-8 in the conference.
Senior Jason Fulwood (Cummings, Ga.) helped show why Coker College is ranked currently No. 1 in NCAA Division II with 11.2 three-pointers per game by hitting his first five attempts from behind the arc in the first half. Fulwood dialed in for 19 points in the opening frame as Coker pulled out a 34-28 halftime lead.
The Cobras continued their strong play out of the intermission, starting the second half with an 18-11 run to pull out the biggest lead of the night, 52-39, with 13:13 left.
St. Andrews responded with a 17-0 run over the next 7:35 to catapult into their first lead of the second stanza, 56-52, with 5:38 remaining. The Knights maintained the momentum for the rest of the contest and pulled away to the 10-point victory by hitting numerous free throws in the final minutes.
The Knights shot 47.7-percent (21-for-44) from the field while holding Coker to 40.3% (25-for-62). The Cobras converted on 13-of-35 (37.1%) attempts from long distance.
Junior Taiwon Grooms (Landover, Md.) scored 16 of his team-high 18 points in the second half to lead the comeback including 13-of-14 from the charity stripe. Sophomore Charles Phillips (Decatur, Ga.) tallied a season-high 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting while senior Richard Stone (Williamsburg, Va.) was the third Knight to score in double-digits with 15 points (9-for-9 FT).
Sophomore Keith Josey (Suffolk, Va.) helped St. Andrews dominate the glass, 39-25, against Coker with a career-high 15 boards. Grooms and Josey each added three steals while freshman Justin Brauda (Monroe, N.C.) chipped in with nine points and three assists.
Fulwood was held to three points in the second half but still finished with a game-high 22 points and four assists. Sohpomore Blake Terrell (Marietta, Ga.) and freshman Michael Gore (Landis, N.C.) followed with nine and eight points, respectively. Gore had a team-high seven boards.
St. Andrews will visit No. 18 nationally ranked Pfeiffer University (Misenheimer, N.C.) on Saturday. The CVAC showdown is slated for a 7:30 p.m. first tip. Coker hosts CVAC foe Lees-McRae on Saturday at 4 p.m.