UNCP women’s hoops outlasts Coker in season opener
HARTSVILLE, S.C. — Senior Jasmine Huntley scored six points in the final 76 seconds Monday night as the UNC Pembroke women’s basketball squad iced the game at the charity stripe in a thrilling 78-75 victory over Coker at the Harris E. Louise DeLoach Center.
The Braves (1-0) improve to 6-2 in their last eight season openers and 15-4 all-time against the host Cobras, dating back to the first meeting in 1984. Coker (0-3) is still looking for its first win of the 2016 campaign, but has been within four points in each of its last two setbacks.
Eleven different players scored for the Black & Gold, who saw a 24-point lead evaporate over the final 14 minutes of action. A Stephanie Johnson jumper with 3:52 on the clock in the third quarter put the Braves up 56-32, giving them their biggest lead of the night. Coker used a 15-4 run in the final period to pull within 61-54 and got as close as one at 67-66 with a pair of free throws at the 2:48 mark.
Junior Ebone Stevens knocked down a three-pointer to push the UNCP lead back to four and Huntley took over from there. The 5-4 guard swiped the ball from the Cobras at half court and converted on the other end with just over a minute to play, before pouring in four free throws in the last 44 seconds to put the game away.
Huntley complemented a team-high 14 points with five rebounds, two assists, a pair of steals and a block. She knocked down 3-of-5 from the field and 8-of-12 at the free-throw line. Stevens poured in 4-of-6 shots for 12 points to lead the Braves to a 47-percent shooting clip, while the home side racked up a 44-percent shooting mark, including 64 percent in the fourth quarter.
Newcomer Blair Silliman tacked on 11 points, while sophomore Avery Locklear rattled in 10. Silliman was 3-for-4 from long range and a perfect 2-for-2 from the charity stripe. Senior Jonissa Monley grabbed a game-best eight boards and tacked on seven points.
UNCP jumped out to a 21-12 lead after the opening quarter, ending the period on a 12-2 run and took a 44-29 lead into the halftime break.
The Braves turned 20 Coker turnovers into 26 points and got 29 points from the reserves, including 15 in the second quarter alone.
The Braves hit the road again Thursday for a 7:30 p.m. tilt with nearby Fayetteville State. The Broncos (0-2) lost a pair of games at the Johnson C. Smith Classic last weekend and will open their home slate at Felton J. Capel Arena against UNCP. The Black & Gold lead the all-time series 19-10, dating back to the first meeting in 1975.
County tennis players earn All-TRC honors
FAIRMONT — Red Springs, St. Pauls and Fairmont were well represented on the All-Three Rivers Conference girls tennis teams, released Sunday by league officials.
The Bulldogs and Red Devils had two selections each on the first team, with the Golden Tornadoes earning one nod. Nayeli Estrada and Hailey Hughes represented St. Pauls, with Selina Franco and Hermalinda Mendoza earning honors for Red Springs. Sharee Woodell was selected from Fairmont.
Whiteville earned a league-best three selections, with Serena Smith earning coach of the year honors. South Columbus earned a pair of selections, with Mary Grayson Koonce leading the way as the player of the year in the conference.
Isabella Dugarte and Lillian Cummings earned honorable mentions for the Bulldogs, with Gabrielle Pecina and Stephanie Alejandro earning honorable mentions for the Red Devils and Kierra Fuqua getting the nod for the Golden Tornadoes.