By: Jake Miller
HARTSVILLE, S.C.- Coker women's basketball earned the victory and season split with Belmont Abbey when they defeated the Crusaders 65-60 on Monday (Dec. 19).
Coker got off to a strong start, leading 16-2 after the first quarter. Iresha Cooper scored the first eight points for the Cobras, and the home team ended the frame on a 6-0 run.
Coker struggled a bit to score in the second quarter, with Belmont Abbey getting in a groove and winning the quarter 18-9. After a tale of two quarters, Coker took a 25-20 lead to the half.
Coker would win the third quarter 18-15, getting a boost off the bench from Elizabeth Kincaid who tallied six points in the frame. Going to the fourth, Coker led 43-35.
The teams traded baskets for the first few minutes before Belmont Abbey caught a bit of fire and got the game within one point. Coker countered with seven points on three straight possessions. Lyric Levester worked inside for a layup, which Kendra Lambert followed up with a three-pointer. The next possession put Coker up 56-48 by way of a Cooper jump shot with just 2:39 remaining in the game. With under two minutes remaining, the visitors cut the lead to just four, before Levester sunk a key pair of free throws to put Coker's lead back at six. Belmont Abbey resorted to fouling to keep time alive, but the Navy and Gold thwarted the strategy by sinking seven straight free throws to ice the game.
Cooper finished with a team-high 14 points, while Lambert added 11 and Kincaid and Lindsey Adams each chipped in 10.
The Cobras return from their holiday break to take on Wingate on Wednesday (Jan. 4). Tip-off is slated for 6:00 p.m. at the DeLoach Center. Tickets for the game are $5 for adults, $3 for students and free to all Coker faculty, staff and students.
McDonald's Player of the Game- Iresha Cooper