Belmont, NC- Belmont Abbey (4-11 overall, 3-5 CVAC) opened the second half with eight straight points, and the Crusaders shot 16-for-19 from the free throw line in the second half as they went on to defeat Coker (5-10, 3-5) 71-59 at the Wheeler Center Saturday.
The game started slowly for both teams, as Coker led just 5-4 after five minutes of play. With the score tied at 16, the visiting Cobras scored nine straight points and held Belmont Abbey scoreless for 3:37, taking a 25-16 with 6:39 left in the half.
Belmont Abbey worked their way back into the game, scoring six of their next eight points from the line and closing to within 28-24. After two free throws by Coker, Belmont Abbey got back-to-back three-pointers by Greg LaVann and A.J. Hargrave to tie the score at 30 with 2:10 left, and the teams would stay tied, 33-all, as they headed to the locker room.
Belmont Abbey came out of the locker room hot, scoring eight straight points and holding Coker scoreless for almost four minutes to take a 41-33 lead. The Cobras came back, and closed to within one when Blake Hall/Moncks Corner, SC scored to make the score 45-44 Crusaders with 8:54 left. Belmont Abbey never lost their lead, and pushed their advantage to 55-48 with 6:32 remaining after Damien Humphrey scored two baskets 20 seconds apart. Coker could only get as close as four points after that, as the Crusaders hit seven of eight free throws in the final minute and held the Cobras to two points in the final two minutes of play.
Humphrey led Belmont Abbey with 16 points, while Anthony Bell had 12 and Steve Williams and Rafael Moreira had ten points apiece. Coker was led by Jay Farrow/Sanford, NC and Johnny Jackson/Hartsville, SC, who had 11 apiece, while Jason Fulwood/Cumming, GA finished with nine.
Coker now hosts Pfeiffer University this Monday, January 24, at 7:30 PM.