NEWBERRY, S.C. – The Coker College men's basketball team dropped their season opener to non-conference opponent, the North Greenville University Crusaders 92-84 in overtime on Friday (Nov. 10) evening in the Conference Carolinas/SAC Challenge.
The game started out slow for both sides, as the Cobras and Crusaders played to a 4-4 score in the opening three minutes of play. Tied 6-6, the Cobras broke the game open and pulled out a comfortable 17-6 lead from 11 consecutive points. Donte Samuels, Dakota Jennings, Jake Barrett, and Brandon Stroman all scored during the run.
Shortly after, the Cobras strung together another scoring run, this time of seven points to take a 24-9 advantage. The seven-point scoring streak was created from a Stroman layup, a Nathan Lemke tip in, and a three-pointer from Stroman.
With North Greenville slowly chipping away at the Coker lead, Khalil Halls sunk a shot from beyond the three-point arch to give the Navy and Gold a 32-20 lead with 3:51 remaining.
The Crusaders continued to will themselves back in the game by scoring five consecutive points to trim the lead to 29-25. However, Halls answered with a clutch three-pointer as time expired in the first half. The Cobras took a 38-29 lead into the locker rooms.
Early in the second half, North Greenville went on a thirteen-point run to take a 58-55 lead over Coker. The Cobras and Crusaders continued to trade blows until North Greenville took an 80-77 lead. With the game on the line, Samuels attempted a three-point shot and was fouled. At the line, Samuels drained all three free throws to send the game to overtime.
Next, the Cobras fell in overtime 92-84. Samuels led the way offensively with a team-high 22 points. LaDarius Williams led the Navy and Gold in rebounds, bringing down a team-best nine.
The Cobras will be back in action tomorrow when they take on Erskine at 7 p.m. in their final game of the Conference Carolinas/SAC Challenge.