BELMONT, N.C. – The Coker College women's basketball team defeated the Belmont Abbey Crusaders 71-66 Friday (Nov. 10) night in their regular season opener. The Cobras improved to 1-0 with their victory in their first game of the Conference Carolinas-SAC Showdown.
In the opening frame of play, the Navy and Gold received a big three-pointer from Hayley Kropp that gave the Cobras a 9-8 lead, their first lead since jumping out to a 2-0 advantage to start the game. The three from Kropp started an eight point Coker run to pull the Cobras ahead of the Crusaders 14-9.
Next, Sydney Shull drained a shot beyond the three-point arch towards the end of first quarter that gave Coker an 18-11 lead heading into the second frame of the contest.
The Crusaders started the second quarter fast, stringing together eight consecutive points to tie the game at 22. However, the Cobras responded with a run of their own, knocking down eight-straight points, highlighted by a three point shot from Kaleah Hires and a jumper from Caitland Considine.
Belmont Abbey ended the second quarter on a seven-point run, which gave Coker a slim 30-29 lead heading into the half.
Trailing 34-31, Belmont Abbey tallied eight consecutive points to pull out to a 39-34 lead in the third quarter. The Crusader lead was short lived as the Cobras put together 12 unanswered points to take a 46-39 advantage. The scoring run was highlighted by layups from Aloni McFarland, Considine, Iresha Cooper, Janea Williams, and a jumper by Hannah Stull.
The start of the fourth quarter was a back and forth affair with both squads playing to a 51-51 tie. Coker broke the tie with a jumper from Erin Houser and two free throws made by Sydney Shull to take a 55-51 lead. Houser continued to make her presence known in the final quarter as she made a jumper in traffic to draw a foul. Next, Houser drained the free throw and extended Coker's lead to 65-60.
The Crusaders added a bucket, but Houser answered with a jumper once again for a 67-62 advantage with 48 seconds remaining. With 15.6 seconds left in regulation, Shull drew a foul and iced the game when she stepped up to the line and drained two free throws for the Coker 71-66 victory.
Houser led the way for the Navy and Gold offensively with a team-best 14 points. Williams and Shull made significant contributions on the offensive end as well with ten and nine points each. In addition to her ten points, Williams brought down a team-high nine rebounds.
The Cobras will be back in action tomorrow (Nov. 11) evening when they take on Limestone at 5 p.m. in their final game of the Conference Carolinas-SAC Showdown.