CONWAY, S.C. – Five players scored in double figures for Coker College in its 80-59 win over the Coastal Carolina University men’s basketball team (0-1) Nov. 15 in the season opener for the Chanticleers Nov. 15 in Kimbel Arena.
Coastal Carolina jumped out to a 7-4 lead on a three pointer by senior Steven Sexton (Monticello, Ky./Wayne County) at 17:41 in the first half, but Coker went on a 6-0 run and took a lead that the Cobras would never relinquish. Redshirt junior Joseph Harris (Lejeune, N.C./Lejeune) cut the lead to 13-9 on a layup with 14:09 left, but Coker answered again with an 8-0 run capped by a Vatrick Thompson three-pointer at 11:53. Sophomore Anthony Breeze (Greenville, S.C./Greenville) hit a jumper with 7:38 left to make it 23-17 Coker, but the Cobras would answer with a 9-1 run as Lukas Varga’s jumper with 5:08 left gave Coker a 32-18 lead. Two Varga free throws with 18 seconds left made it 40-26 Coker, but junior Mario Edwards (Massillon, Ohio/Chipola J.C.) hit a three with three seconds left to make it 40-29 at the break.
Breeze was 5-of-7 from the field for 13 points in the first half, while Edwards added eight. Coker was on fire in the first half, going 15-of-27 from the field for 55.6 percent. Mason Ambler and Josh Poston had 12 points to lead the Cobras in the first 20 minutes. Coker also had a 16-11 rebounding advantage.
Breeze opened the second half with a jumper at 18:39 to cut the lead to nine. Edwards cut the Cobra lead again to nine at 18:19, but Coker would have a double-digit lead the rest of the game. Ambler’s jumper at 16:09 made it 50-36. Redshirt junior Logan Johnson (Knoxville, Tenn./South Doyle) hit two free throws to make it 57-47 and Harris’ layup at 7:08 made it 59-49 with 7:08 remaining. The Cobras would end the game on a 21-10 run, which included back-to-back layups by Michael Gore and six free throws in the last 1:38.
Breeze led Coastal Carolina with 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field. Harris added 13 in his first game back since a thumb injury last December. Edwards was the third Chant in double figures at 12 points. Coastal Carolina shot 38 percent from the field and was 17-of-27 from the free-throw line.
Ambler had a double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Poston had 18, Varga scored 14 and Gore and Thompson had 12 points apiece. Coker shot a blistering 53.8 percent from the floor and was 20-of-27 from the free-throw line.
Coker scored 23 points off of Chant turnovers and had 36 points in the paint in the win. The win does not count in Coker’s record as the game was an exhibition for the Cobras. This is only the second time the Chants have lost to Coker in 15 games.
Coastal Carolina now hits the road for the next five games, starting with a Tuesday, Nov. 18 tilt at Savannah State. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.