MARS HILL, N.C. – The Mars Hill men's basketball team (7-9, 2-7 SAC) cruised to an 87-66 win over Coker (3-13, 1-8 SAC) to wrap up a three-game homestand Monday evening inside Chambers Gymnasium.
The Lions opened the contest on a 9-4 run before Coker responded with five unanswered points. The teams traded baskets until the 6:42 mark of the half when Coker took their first lead, 14-13 off of a Malcolm Kennedy free throw. The Cobras extended their lead to 17-13, but Mars Hill retook the lead moments later with six straight points.
With under four minutes left in the half, Mars Hill was up 35-28 before the Cobras scored six straight points to pull within one with 2:16 left. Coker's Khalil Halls, with 1:06 remaining in the half, gave Coker the late lead. Led by Austin Stone's five straight points, Mars Hill closed out the half on a 5-0 run to enter the half up 42-38.
Halls was the lone Cobra in double-figures after 20 minutes of play, scoring 11 points and going 5-of-7 from the floor. Stone led all players with 14 points in the half. Javonte Cook chipped in eight points and collected eight rebounds.
Mars Hill earned their first double-digit lead of the night with 4:15 played in the second half, going up 54-44 off of a Chris Barnette layup. Coker strung together four straight points to narrow the lead to eight, but Mars Hill's 7-0 run reestablished their double-digit margin.
The Lions were up 11 with less than five minutes to play and added to their lead, scoring seven straight points to go up 79-61, capped off by a Ja'Shawn Brooks three-pointer. Following two made free throws from Halls, Mars Hill wen on another 7-0 run to extend their lead to 23 points.
Mars Hill shot 50 percent from the floor in the second half to the Cobras' 27 percent and were stout defensively. The Lions' bench scored 32 points to Coker's 14 on the night.
Halls led all players with 25 points and had a team-high six rebounds. Larry Cooper ended the night with 11 points.
Brooks, after missing the last three contests, returned to lead the Lions with 20 points, adding five rebounds. Cook collected the double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Mars Hill returns to action when they travel Anderson to face the Trojans on Wednesday, January 23rd. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.