UNCP Victorious In Season Opener Over Coker, 62-49
HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Despite being outrebounded, the UNCP women's basketball team utilized 22 turnovers by Coker to close out Tuesday evening's match with a 13 point lead as three Lady Braves registered double-digit points in the 62-49 season opening win at Timberlake-Lawton Gym.
The Lady Braves (1-0) allowed Coker (0-2) to take a quick 5-0 lead at the 16:43 mark, and extend it to 18-5 with less than 10 minutes less to play in the first half. Junior Courtney Bolton started the UNCP comeback on a jumper as UNCP drained 18 points to tie the game up at the half with a score of 23-23. Junior Jasmine Hairston led the team at halftime with eight points as senior Domonique Washington tallied five.
UNCP improved its field goal shooting percentage from the first half to 47.8 percent in the second half. The squad connected 14-of-17 from the foul line for a combined 82.4 percent. The Lady Braves finished the game shooting 39.6 percent in field goal shooting, 33.3 percent from the 3-point line and 66.7 percent from the foul line.
The Cobras again opened up the half by scoring first, but UNCP took the first lead of the game on a layup by Bolton. The lead continued to bounce back and forth as it was tied five times until UNCP took the final lead at the 7:48 mark on a layup by newcomer Taylor Gallentine. Washington put the squad up by its largest lead at 13 on a made foul shot with less than 20 seconds in the game.
Senior DeDe Cotten led the team with a game-high 13 points, while Washington and Hairston collected 12 apiece. Hairston grabbed seven defensive rebounds to post a team-best, Jazmine Kemp had six and Cotten, Hairston and Gallentine pulled down five each. Washington dished out six assists and scurried for five steals. UNCP totaled 33 rebounds, 14 fouls, 11 steals and only nine turnovers.
Coker was led by Jasmine Alston who registered a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Haley Yohn and Amber Lau posted 11 and 10 points, respectively. The Cobras had 41 rebounds and 21 fouls and a mere four steals. Overall the Cobras shot 34.0 percent in field goal shooting, 32.0 percent from the 3-point line and 55.6 percent from the charity stripe.
"The first 10 minutes we played poor offense with a number of missed shots," said UNCP head coach John Haskins. "We continued to play hard and ended up coming back to control the play of the game. There is still a lot of work to do, but the girls played hard and it is always nice to get the first win of the season."
The Black and Gold extended its winning streak in the series between the two schools to 11 games.
UNCP will continue on the road as it travels to Charlotte to take on region opponent Queens (0-1) on Saturday in the Oven Athletic Complex.