NEWBERRY, S.C. – Newberry College sprinted to a 12-2 lead in a shade over four minutes and led by as much as twenty in the second half on their way to a 60-44 victory over visiting Coker College Tuesday night at Eleazer Arena. The Lady Indians start a season 3-0 for the first time in school history, and avenge a 77-48 defeat at the hands of the Cobras (1-2) last season.
Newberry used a balanced offensive attack and high-pressure defense to force 27 Coker turnovers, translating those miscues into 25 points.
“The thing that I’m most proud of is that we competed as a team,” Newberry head coach Jason Brink said following the game. “We had contributions from 14 ladies tonight, and I’m proud of them for playing as a team.”
The Indians doubled up the Cobras 28-14 at the break and extended that lead to 42-22 at the 13:27 point. However, Coker stormed back with eight straight points and trimmed the lead to 44-34 with 6:43 remaining in the game before Newberry went on its own 12-6 run to ice the game.
Senior Laura Banda (Holcomb, Kan.) led all scorers with 12 markers, and Tonique Frasier (Walterboro, S.C.) pitched in ten. Forwards Nicha Bellinger (Greenville, S.C.) and Tonya Deese (Prosperity, S.C.) had solid outings, combining for 13 points and 11 boards and effectively neutralizing Coker’s potent post players.
Coker’s Michelle Glover (Beaufort, S.C.) was the only Cobra to reach double digits, scoring 12 and pitching in 11 rebounds. Tara Nelson (Rochester Hills, Mich.) and Shamae Hemingway (Conway, S.C.) scored eight points each.
Newberry plays its first game away from Eleazer Friday, traveling to Lander to face the Bearcats in the Lander Classic. Coker plays at home December 1 against Allen University at 6 p.m.