LAURINBURG, N.C.—Junior Kayla Hay (Hanover, Ind.) filled up the score sheet with 16 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, four blocks, and one steal for host St. Andrews Presbyterian College but Coker College took advantage of a depleted Knights roster en route to a 81-66 Conference Carolinas women’s basketball victory on Monday evening in Harris Court.
The Lady Cobras pulled away after a close first half by shooting 61.8% in the final period, extending their win streak to four games improving to 9-12 overall and 8-8 in the conference. The Lady Knights -- who maintain 1-19 and 0-16 ledgers -- kept it close by converting 57.7% of their attempts in the second half even though they only had five active players for the final 11 minutes after freshman Septembra LeSane (Pompano Beach, Fla.) fouled out.
The Finland junior duo of Henna Koponen and Lotta Aaltonen led the Cobras with 20 and 18 points, respectively. Freshman Jasmine Alston (Sumter, S.C.) added 13 points for Coker.
Hay recorded her second straight double-double with a team-high 16 point and a game-high 10 rebounds. Hay has six double-doubles on the season. Hay dished out a season-high five assists and had four blocks for the fourth time this year.
Freshmen Brittany Roberts (Concord, N.C.) and Kaela Allison (Mirimar, Fla.) both scored 14 points for the Knights. Allison tied her season-high point total while Roberts had her second highest output of the season. Senior Desiree Jones (Tulsa, Okla.) was the fourth SAPC player in double figures, netting 11 points including a game-high three 3-pointers.
Coker held a single digit lead throughout the first half but was unable to pull away as St. Andrews kept fighting with a loud crowd cheering for the Knights during SAPC’s “Fan Appreciation Night.”
Koponen scored the first five baskets for Coker as the visitors took an early 10-6 advantage. The Cobras had eight assists on their 10 made shots helping take a 28-23 lead into halftime.
Both squads shot 29-percent in the opening period. Coker made 10 steals in the first 20 minutes including four by Alston. SAPC had seven blocks in the first half including four swats by Hay.
The Cobras started the second half on an 8-2 run that extended their lead to double figures for the remainder of the contest. Coker built a 23-point lead but the Knights kept fighting with an 18-10 run in the final five minutes to cut the final deficit to 15.
Both teams shot well with Coker sinking 45.6% and SAPC draining 43.4%. The Cobras held a 41-33 rebounding advantage with Aaltonen leading the team with six boards. Alston made a game-high six steals.
Freshman Melissa Freeman (Cape Coral, Fla.) had eight rebounds for the Knights.
St. Andrews travels to Wilson, N.C., on Thursday for a league tilt against Barton College at 5:30 p.m. Coker hosts conference leading Mount Olive College at the same time Thursday.