Hartsville, S.C. -- A foul by Coker’s Liam Kyle with just two seconds left, sent Anderson’s Oskars Ernsteins to the free throw line for three shots with the score tied 77-77. Ernsteins made two of the three shots to give the Trojans a 79-77 lead, but an Anderson foul on the ensuing inbounds play sent Coker’s Delonte Doles to the charity stripe for a one and one and a chance to tie the game. Unfortunately for Doles and the Cobras, he would miss the first shot and Anderson would get the rebound and secure the narrow victory, 79-77.
The win improves the Trojans to 10-3 overall and 4-3 in Conference Carolinas, while the Cobras drop to 5-9 overall and 2-6 in the conference, giving them five straight losses.
Anderson’s Brandon Young (Belmont, N.C.) led all scorers with 22 points and five steals, followed by Kevis Cornwell (York, S.C.) with 15 points and six rebounds. Also scoring in double figures was Trey Britton (Alpharetta, Ga.) with 10 points and four rebounds. Tyler Shugart (Rock Hill, S.C.) led all rebounders with seven boards, while Ernsteins (Rigas, Latvia) finished the night with six points, including the game winner.
Leading the Cobras were Thomas Wright (Sydney, Australia) and Mason Ambler (Atlanta, Ga.), scoring 17 points each, while Ambler pulled down six rebounds. With tonight’s performance Ambler is just four points shy of 1,000 points for his career. Michael Gore (Landis, N.C.) had a season high 15 points and rebounds, with Doles (Roswell, Ga.), Kyle (Cleveland, Ohio) and Vatrick Thompson (Columbia, S.C.) each had eight points, with Kyle grabbing six boards and Doles dishing out six assists.
An extremely close game, both teams exchanged leads in the first half, with Anderson leading by as much as 10 points with 12 minutes remaining, only to have the Cobras take as much as a seven point lead with just under a minute left in the half. Anderson did not give up and thanks to a buzzer beating near half court 3-pointer, Anderson and Coker went to the locker room tied at 38.
It was all Anderson in the second half, as Coker was never able to get back on top. The Cobras kept things close the entire half, never getting down by more than five points. However in the end it was the Trojans that came out with the win.
Coker had their best shooting night of the season, hitting 27-of-46 (58.7%) from the floor, while also shooting 95 percent from the charity stripe. On the other side of the ball, Anderson shot 40.3 percent from the floor, and 73.3 percent from the free throw line.
The Cobras return to the court on Saturday, when they travel to Limestone College for a 4:00 p.m. tip-off.