PEMBROKE —The University of North Carolina at Pembroke basketball team ended 2013 with a win, logging 12 of its 23 total foul shots in the final 12 minutes of action in a 79-72 victory over region rival Coker on Sunday at the English E. Jones Center.
“I thought our effort was good for the most part and it was probably the hardest we have played in a while,” said UNCP coach Ben Miller. “Shot taking has been something we have worked on in practice, we weren’t perfect tonight, but our shot selection was better.”
In a game with 11 lead changes and Coker holding its largest lead of seven points at the 11:29 mark in the first half, UNCP utilized 32 points off the bench, and 17 second chance points. The Braves (10-2) carried their largest scoring margin of 11 points with 7:23 remaining in the contest and used key rebounding to hold onto 10 more boards than Coker with a 45-35 advantage.
It was the third loss in four games for Coker (5-4).
Coker opened up the game with a 5-0 lead as the Braves were held scoreless until Rose knocked down his first arc shot of the contest at the 17:57 mark, but the Cobras would battle through and contain the lead for over nine minutes until Pittman laid the ball off the backboard to give UNCP a one point lead at the 6:16 mark.
Exiting out of the half with a tied score of 33-33, both the Cobras and the Braves controlled four lead changes and two tied scores, but the Black and Gold pulled out the seven-point victory after 40 minutes of action.
The was was the Braves its 10th win of the season.
Junior Ben Jacobs carried a team-high 20 points, with 12 in the second half, and was one rebound shy of a double-double with nine boards. Junior Griffin Pittman and sophomore Quamain Rose each had 18 points. The Braves outshot the Cobras with 45.6 percent from the field, 44.4 percent from the 3-point line and 79.3 percent from the charity stripe.
Coker’s Eren Moses and Teon Beckett each grabbed double-doubles with 17 points and 14 rebounds, and 13 points and 12 rebounds, respectively. Julian Nelson matched a team-best 17 points and Trey Marshall added 10 points.
UNCP will get a 10-day break from competition before resuming its 2014 campaign when the squad will step back into Peach Belt Conference play on Jan. 2 when the Braves host Georgia College (5-4, 1-1 PBC). The back half of the women’s and men’s doubleheader in the English E. Jones Center is slated for a 7:30 p.m. tip off.