HARTSVILLE, S.C. - The Mars Hill men's basketball team (5-4, 3-0 SAC) remain unbeaten in South Atlantic Conference play, picking up an 84-76 overtime win over Coker (2-4, 1-2 SAC) Saturday evening.
Leading 56-41 with less than 11 minutes to play, the Lions were in firm control of the contest before the Cobras began their comeback bid. Coker went on a 15-2 run over seven minutes to pull within two, 58-56, with 3:35 remaining. A three-point play from Austin Gilyard pushed the lead back up to five, but the Cobras kept pushing forward, answering every response the Lions would make.
With three seconds left on the clock, a layup from Dakota Jennings forced the contest into overtime.
Coker took a 72-69 lead after 36 seconds of play, but a Mars Hill 6-0 run allowed the Lions to retake the lead, one they would hold on to for the remainder of the game. Coker pulled within one, 77-76, with 1:49 to play, however, Mars Hill closed out the contest on a 7-0 run to fend off the Cobras for their third straight conference win.
After seven minutes played in the first half, the Lions began to pull away from Coker. Leading 16-8, Mars Hill, led by Javonte Cooke, went on a 7-4 run to hold an 11-point lead with just over 10 minutes left in the half. A 9-2 run in the latter stages of the frame provide the Lions a 15-point lead before the Cobras narrowed the deficit in the final five minutes of the first. In the last two minutes, Coker went on a 6-0 run to end the half trailing 36-30.
The Cobras were led offensively by Roy Ellis' 13 points. Jennings, Royce Hunter and Chris Swiney each recorded 10 points on the day with Jennings' 10 rebounds giving him a double-double.
Cooke led all players with 25 points, including 11 in the first 20 minutes of play. He also pulled down 11 rebounds for the double-double while adding three assists and three steals. The trio of Gilyard, Matthew Powell, and Ja'Shawn Brooks each recorded 14 points while Nassyr Daniel led the team with 12 rebounds. Gilyard and Powell each added nine rebounds apiece.
The Lions return to action on Saturday, December 14 when they host the Indians of Catawba. Tipoff inside Chambers Gymnasium is set for 4 p.m.