Hartsville, SC- With five players scoring and double figures the Coker Cobras narrowly defeated the Belmont Abbey Crusaders, 65-62 on Saturday afternoon in men’s collegiate basketball. The win improves Coker to 7-14 overall, and 5-9 in Conference Carolinas play, while the Abbey falls to 11-9 overall, and 9-4 in the conference.

In a game with only three lead changes, all of which came in the first 10 minutes of play, and just one tie, Coker was very much in command of the game until the final 14 minutes of the game. With just over 14 minutes left in the game the Cobras held a commanding 17 point lead, but it was at that point that the Crusaders mounted their comeback. Little by little Belmont Abbey fought their way back to just a one point Coker lead with just 15 seconds remaining. It was at that point that Coker’s Josh Poston (Myrtle Beach, SC) stripped the Abbey’s Jonathan Jackson of the ball and drew a foul sending him to the line for two shoots. Following Poston’s made free throws Belmont Abbey tried to make a last ditch effort to win with just ten seconds remaining, but was unable to get a shot off and the Cobras held on for the win.

Leading the Cobras was Lukas Varga (Pawley’s Island, SC) with 17 points, followed by Mason Ambler (Atlanta, GA) with his third double-double of the season, scoring 14 points and pulling down 14 rebounds. Michael Gore (Landis, NC) chipped in 12 points from the paint with five rebounds, while Poston and J.C. Hafner (Jefferson, MD) each scored 10 points.

For the Crusaders, Jackson was the game high scorer with 24 points, while Chad Patus had a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Arturs Papans was able to grab 10 rebounds in the game as well for Belmont Abbey.

The Cobras take a few days break, returning to the court on Thursday, as they travel to Erskine College for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off.