GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – The Coker College men's basketball team knocked off the Tusculum College Pioneers 100-97 in an overtime thriller Wednesday (Dec. 13) night in conference play. Donte Samuels drained a three-pointer with .04 seconds remaining in overtime for the Coker victory.
The Cobras started the contest slow and trailed the Pioneers by 12 points at the 9:29 mark of the first half. Next, the Navy and Gold went on to outscore Tusculum 24-12 for the remainder of the half and headed into halftime knotted up at 36. LaDarius Williams played a vital role during the run, knocking down nine of the Cobras 24 points.
The beginning of the second half had Coker string together a 7-2 run for a 43-38 lead thanks to a layup and three ball from Khalil Halls and a jumper by Samuels. Tusculum answered the Coker run by outscoring the Cobras 20-6 to regain a 59-51 lead with ten minutes remaining.
Trailing 80-78, a layup from Williams evened the game at 80. Following the Williams layup, Demarco Jackson hustled for a steal to give Coker a much-needed offensive possession, and Williams found Jake Barrett for the 82-80 Coker lead.
Both squads exchanged scores down the stretch until Tusculum held a slim 85-84 advantage over Coker. With just four seconds remaining in regulation, Williams drew a foul and drained one of two free throw attempts to even the score at 85 apiece to send the game into overtime.
In overtime, Halls drained a crucial three-pointer to give Coker a 96-94 lead. Moments later, Barrett drew a foul and made one of two free throws to give the Cobras a three-point advantage with 19 seconds remaining. Tusculum answered once again by drawing a foul from beyond the three-point arch. The Pioneers went on to drain all three free throws and evened the score at 97. The Navy and Gold stormed down the court with seconds remaining and received a clutch three-point shot from Samuels with .04 seconds remaining for the thrilling 100-97 overtime victory.
Four Cobras finished the night in double figures. Samuels led Coker scorers with a season-high 25 points, while Barrett recorded 23, Williams tallied 20 off the bench, and Halls added 16. On the boards, Samuels brought down a team-best nine rebounds and Jackson followed with eight.
The Cobras will be back in action when they return to the DeLoach Center on Saturday (Dec. 16) to take on Mars Hill in South Atlantic Conference action. Opening tip is set for 4 p.m.