MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. - The Coker University women's basketball team fell just short in their season opener at Mount Olive on Saturday (Nov. 9) by a score of 62-57.
Mount Olive jumped out to a 7-3 lead at the first quarter media timeout, before the remainder of the first quarter was fairly low-scoring. Mount Olive led 11-10 after one quarter.
Mount Olive won the second quarter 17-9 to take a 28-19 lead to the half. The Cobras hung within three points with four minutes to play in the quarter before a Mount Olive three-pointer put the deficit at six. Mount Olive would maintain their two-possession lead into the final minute of the quarter, before two more Trojan buckets set Mount Olive's halftime lead at nine.
The Trojans would extend their lead into double-digits early in the third quarter, before one good free throw from Hope Richardson with a minute left in the frame got the Cobras back within nine. A jumper from Richardson with 48 seconds to play in the quarter would get the Cobras within seven, before a free throw from Azariah Fields and a jumper from Sherry Johnson would leave the Trojans up by 10 headed to the fourth.
Coker would win the quarter 22-17, but the effort fell just short in the comeback bid. Coker scored the first points of the frame on a Saquita Joyner layup, before an Ashauntee Nelson three-pointer a minute and a half into the period got Coker back within five. Two Erin Houser free throws would get Coker back within one possession with 6:41 to play, before a Joyner layup would get the Cobras back within one point. Mount Olive scored its first points of the quarter with 5:29 to play, before Hope Toliver knocked down a jump shot and Amanda Cherry would drain a three-pointer to tie the game at 49. The game ticked down into the final four minutes as Mount Olive re-gained the lead, before the Trojans extended the lead to two possessions with two and a half minutes to play. A Houser jumper off an assist from Jackson got Coker back within two with a minute and a half to play, before Kelly Post made a layup to put the Trojans back up by four. The Trojans would extend their lead to six in the final minute, before two Cherry free throws and a jumper from Jackson got the Cobras back within five. The Trojans ultimately came away with the five-point win.
Cherry posted a team and career-high 14 points in the contest, while Houser was the other Cobra in double figures with 13. Coker also received contributions in the scoring column from Nelson (eight), Joyner (six), Richardson (five), Jackson (five), Jalah Horton (four) and Jordan Ellis (two). Coker edged Mount Olive in the rebounding category 42-41, led by 10 rebounds each from Houser and Joyner. Richardson pulled down seven rebounds, while Horton and Nelson each grabbed five and Jackson hauled in four. Cherry also collected one rebound in the contest. Jackson led the Cobras with four assists, while Cherry also dished out one. Joyner recorded two steals in the game, while Richardson, Nelson and Jackson also had steals. Nelson led the Cobras in blocks with three, while Richardson and Joyner also blocked shots in the game.
Coker is back in action on Tuesday (Nov. 12) for a Division I exhibition at the College of Charleston. Tip-off for that contest is slated for 6:00 p.m.