PEMBROKE, N.C. – In a game that saw 13 lead changes and seven tie scores, the Braves of UNC Pembroke went on a 9-0 run in the final 2:08 of the contest to defeat Coker, 70-61, in men’s basketball action on Thursday night at the English E. Jones Center.
UNCP (5-2) was paced on offense once again by senior forward Jonathan Hart who finished the night with 24 points. Fellow senior Jarrell Hunter contributed 12 points of his own as the two upperclassman combined for 17 of Pembroke’s 33 rebounds.
Coker (3-5) shot 40.0 percent in the game with 16 of their 20 field goals coming from behind the three-point arc. The Cobras’ J.C. Hefner converted 7-of-12 three point attempts while adding two free throws to score a team-high 23 points. Ryan Fulwood added six three-pointers to add 18 points to Coker’s total.
The Braves finished the night shooting 51.1 percent from the floor, marking the first time all season that UNCP has shot over 50 percent in a game. The second half saw Pembroke convert 14-of-16 free throws including two by Cortez Brown to take the lead at 62-61 with just over two minutes left in the contest, two by John Keimig to extend the Braves’ lead to seven, and two by Demarcus Lyday to ice the game for UNCP.
“I thought that we did a good job making plays at the end out of our sets and we did a good job of making free throws down the stretch," said UNCP head coach Jason Tinsley. "We have to rebound, take care of the ball, make open shots and play harder. If we do those things, we have a chance to be in the game. If one of those four areas is lacking, we're not going to overcome that. That's just the reality of it. I think our guys are starting to buy into that and we're playing better because of it."