Coker Drops Heartbreaker to No. 20/21 Queens (N.C.)

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – The Coker University men’s basketball team battled No. 21/20 Queens (N.C.) until the final buzzer, but the Royals came away with the buzzer-beater 70-68 victory on Dec. 18.

McDonald’s Player of the Game: Jaylin Stewart

No. 21/20 Queens jumped out to an 8-3 lead through the first media timeout, before eventually extending their lead to 16-3 six and a half minutes in. The Royals would continue to control the game, leading 19-8 at the under-12 media timeout. Coker got back within 11 with under 11 minutes to play, before the Royals would build their lead back up to 16 with 10 minutes to play. Queens continued to control the first half, before Coker would go on a run and get back within seven with under four minutes to play and force a Queens timeout. The Royals would build their lead back up to double-digits as they headed to the locker room, leading 39-27 at the break.

Queens held a double-digit lead for the first five minutes and change, before a Malcolm Kennedy three-pointer got Coker back within nine with under 15 minutes to play. The Royals would build their lead back up to 12 with 12 and a half minutes to play, before the Cobras would counter and get back within four with nine minutes to play. Queens quickly re-gained its 10-point lead, before the Cobras would slowly begin to chip away possession by possession. The Cobras narrowed the gap to five with six minutes to play, before eventually battling back to get within two on a Williams Onyeodi layup with three and a half minutes left. Layups from Onyeodi and Dakota Jennings tied the game at 68 with a minute and a half to play, before both teams would get possessions in the final minute. Coker held possession with 32 seconds left, but was unable to cash in the go-ahead bucket. The Royals held the final possession, playing the ball in with six seconds left on the clock. After Jermaine Patterson missed the mark with a three-pointer, Gavin Rains was there to tip the ball back up and in as the horn sounded, giving the nationally-ranked Royals the road victory.

Jaylin Stewart paced the Cobras by tying a career-high with 12 points, while Jennings and Chandler Lindsey each chipped in 11 points and Royce Hunter also added 10. Four other Cobras contributed scoring in the game. Jennings led the effort on the glass with eight rebounds, while Hunter pulled down seven and Onyeodi also grabbed six. Four other Cobras were active on the glass in the game. Onyeodi, Stewart and Lindsey each dished out two assists, with Onyeodi tying a career-high. Jennings, KJ Harris and Kennedy each contributed one assist in the game. Onyeodi, Jennings and Lindsey each recorded two steals, while Harris and AJ McQuaige each had one in the game. Onyeodi and Jennings each registered one block in the game.

Coker is back on the floor on Jan. 4, 2020 at Lenoir-Rhyne in South Atlantic Conference action. Tip-off for that contest is slated for 4:00 p.m., with video and live stats available at www.cokercobras.com.

Author: Rachel Howell

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