BELMONT, N.C. – A strong second half performance by the Coker men’s basketball team led to a 79-66 win over Conference Carolinas foe Belmont Abbey on Saturday night. Delonte Doles (Roswell, Ga.) led the Cobra offense with 19 points, all of which came in the second half.
In addition to Doles 19 point performance, Coker had three other players reach double figures, Tom Wright (Sydney, Australia) added 17, while Liam Kyle (Cleveland, Ohio) added 11 points and five assists. Vatrick Thompson (Columbia, S.C.) chipped in with ten. The Cobras shot 51.8 percent (29-56) from the floor.
Richard Barbee registered a double double with a game-high 25 points and 11 rebounds for the Abbey. He also handed out four assists and collected two steals. Kyle Phillips finished with 16 points and six rebounds, and Tyshawn Good added 12 points on four of six shooting with three boards. Belmont Abbey shot 40.7 percent (24-59) from the floor.
The first half featured six ties and eight lead changes as neither team's lead rose to any higher than eight points. Coker grabbed a 5-2 lead and held onto it for nearly eight minutes until a Barbee layup tied the score at 14 with 10:43 left. Both teams traded baskets on each of their next two possessions, but two free throws from Kyle gave the Cobras a lead they would hold for the next six minutes.
Trailing by five, the Abbey chopped its deficit from five to a one point lead with a 6-0 run over the next five minutes to regain the lead. A Thompson jumper put Coker back on top by one, but a Good three-pointer moved the Abbey back in front, 27-25, with 2:30 left. Coker closed the half on a 6-2 run, punctuated with a Thompson jumper at the buzzer, to carry a 31-29 lead into the half.
The second half was all Coker, as it outscored the Abbey 48-37 in the stanza. The Cobras opened the half on a 16-4 run over the first eight minutes, building a double digit lead it would never relinquish until two Barbee free throws with 2:25 left closed the lead to nine. Coker shot 57 percent in the second half en route to scoring 48 points.
Coker will return to the court on Monday against Limestone College. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Limestone College.