LAURINBURG, N.C.—The Coker College men’s basketball team shot 59.0-percent and all five Cobra starters scored in double figures in an 87-72 Conference Carolinas victory at St. Andrews Presbyterian College on Monday night in Harris Court.
Coker snapped a two-game skid, improving to 10-11 on the year and 6-8 in the conference. The Knights are still searching for its first win after a victory, falling to 5-16 and 3-12.
Senior Taiwon Grooms (Landover, Md.) and Joseph Gripper (Charlotte, N.C.) provided 53% of the Knights scoring with 19 points apiece. Classmate Charles Phillips (Decatur, Ga.) chipped in with nine points and five assists.
Junior Mason Ambler (Atlanta, Ga.) led the Cobras starters with 20 points on 9-of-13 accuracy. Sophomore Vatrick Thompson (West Columbia, S.C.) bucketed19 points including a trio of three-pointers. Senior Josh Poston (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) scorched the nets for 18 points on 7-of-9 precision, while sophomore Joselle Bracy (Ruby, S.C.) and junior Michael Gore (Landis, N.C.) each sunk 12 points.
Senior Stevie Evans (West Columbia, S.C.) and junior J.C. Hafner (Jefferson, Md.) each hit a three-pointer, which were the Cobras six total bench points.
The early stages of the game featured six lead changes and three ties before Coker capped the first half with a 21-7 run to take a 47-34 lead into the intermission. Poston scored 10 of the Cobras 21 points during the crucial run including a pair of 3-pointers.
Coker maintained a 12-point advantage five minutes into the second half before St. Andrews cut the deficit in half (63-57) with an 11-5 surge. Gripper scored nine points in that two and half minute span and capped the rally with a four-point play. However, Bracy extended the Cobras advantage back to double digits for the final 10 minutes by making three straight lay-ups.
Coker shot 59.0% (36-of-61) with great ball movement including 21 assists. Bracy handed out a game-high six assists, Ambler dished out five, and Evans supplied four. Cobras also won the battle of the boards, 33-27, as Bracy and Ambler just missed double-doubles with nine and seven rebounds, respectively. While both teams made seven 3-pointers, Coker exploited the Knights inside with a commanding 48-16 advantage on points in the paint.
Grooms had a team-high seven rebounds for the Knights while Gripper had five boards. Gripper made 9-of-10 free throws.
SAPC shot 42.1% (24-of-57).
St. Andrews visits Conference Carolinas rival Barton College (Wilson, N.C.) on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Coker hosts league leading Mount Olive College at the same time Thursday.