HARTSVILLE, S.C.—The Coker College women’s basketball team racked up a season-high 83 points in its best shooting performance of the season en route to an 83-42 Conference Carolinas victory over visiting St. Andrews Presbyterian College on Thursday evening in Timberlake-Lawton Gym.
The Lady Cobras (2-6 Overall; 1-2) had to wait over a month after picking up their first victory of the season on December 2 but was able to post a second straight win by torching the nets at 53.3-percent (32-of-60) precision. The Lady Knights (1-6; 0-4) dropped their third straight game shooting 29.3% (17-of-58).
Coker’s attack was triggered by a trio of seniors scoring in double figures. Guard Lotta Aaltonen (Rauma, Finland) drained a game-high 19 points while forwards Henna Koponen (Vantaa, Finland) and Kiesha Beavers (Williamstown, N.J.) tallied 16 and 15 points, respectively.
Koponen and senior guard AG Stanciauskaite (Silute, Lithuania) made back-to-back shots in the opening 90 seconds of the contest as the hosts posted the coast-to-coast victory.
Coker slowly extended its advantage in the opening frame. Knights’ senior center Kayla Hay (Hanover, Ind.) converted on a basket at the 6:39 mark but it would be the last points of the first half for SAPC. The Cobras went into the locker room on a 13-0 run during that stretch that was capped by a five-foot turnaround jumper in the paint by Beavers in the final minute to give Coker a commanding 41- 16 halftime cushion.
Koponen (5-of-9) and Beavers (4-of-6) led all players at the intermission with 12 and 10 points, respectively, on a combined 60-percent shooting accuracy. The Lady Cobras built its 25-point lead by shooting an impressive 51.5% (17-of-33) in the first period while holding St. Andrews to a chilly 24.1% (7-of-29).
Coker maintained control in the final stanza escalating its lead to 42 points (81-39) in the waning minutes before rolling to the 41-point victory.
Coker harassed SAPC into 26 turnovers that included 15 steals. The Cobras protected the ball well only committing 14 turnovers. Sophomore guard Jasmine Alston (Sumter, S.C.) was held to three points but she provided impact in the other areas of the game with five rebounds, five assists, and four steals. Koponen also had five rebounds and five assists while junior center Maija Castren (Vantaa, Finland) added nine points.
Knights’ freshman forward Essence Chism (Garner, N.C.) grabbed a game-high eight rebounds and classmate Kayla McBath (Orlando, Fla.) pulled down seven boards as St. Andrews won the battle of the glass, 34-32.
Senior point guard Jaquese Smith (Raleigh, N.C.) scored a team-high nine points for the Royal Blue & White. Junior forward Lolonda Byrd-Davis (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) netted eight points and sophomore Megan Lee (Chillicothe, Ohio) recorded eight points. Sophomore shooting guard Brittany Roberts (Concord, N.C.) chipped in with five points, five rebounds, and three steals.
St. Andrews wraps up a three-game road swing to start 2010 at Erskine College (Due West, S.C.) in a Conference Carolinas clash scheduled to tip-off at 2 p.m. Coker concludes a two-game home stand on Saturday hosting league rival Queens University of Charlotte at 2 p.m.