Johnson scores 29, Lions fall to Cobras

Johnson scores 29, Lions fall to Cobras

MARS HILL, N.C. – The Mars Hill women's basketball team (1-12, 0-9 SAC) were defeated by Coker (3-14, 2-7 SAC) by a score of 87-71 inside Stanford Arena Monday evening.

The Cobras ended the first quarter up 16-13, shooting 7-of-19 from the floor.  Ashauntee Nelson hit both of her shots to give her four points in the quarter.  Shayla Smith went 3-of-4 from the floor for Mars Hill to lead all players with six points after the opening frame. Tied at five with 6:02 left in the quarter, Amanda Cherry hit a three-pointer to give the Cobras an 8-5 lead and start a 5-0 run.  The Cobras would not relinquish the lead from that point on.

Coker extended their lead to nine entering the half.  Erin Houser led the Cobras with six points in the second and the duo of Hayely Kropp and Shay Jackson each had four points for the Cobras.  Brooke Vilcinskas went 2-of-3 from beyond the arc for six points in the frame and ended the half leading all players with nine. Coker used an 8-3 run in the opening 2:15 of the quarter to extend their lead to eight points and with 4:14 left in the half, took their first double-digit lead of the half, going up 29-19.

Mars Hill found themselves in foul trouble in the third quarter, allowing Coker to convert on 10-of-14 opportunities from the line.  Coker outscored Mars Hill 28-13 in the quarter and outrebounded the Lions 19-6, including a 12-2 advantage in offensive rebounds. Kropp scored six points in the quarter while Mariah Johnson added seven.

The Lions entered the final 10 minutes down 65-41 and trailed by as many as 28 with 7:20 remaining in the game.  Mars Hill, over the next two minutes of play, cut the deficit in half and trailed 75-61 with 5:22 left in the contest. 

Johnson carried the Mars Hill offense in the fourth quarter, scoring 19 of the team's 30 points.  Despite her stellar performance in the final 10 minutes of play, the Lions were unable to overcome Coker's large lead.

Five Cobras ended the game in double-figures with Jackson's 14 leading the way.  Kropp and Saquita Joyner each added 13 points.

Johnson led all players with 29 points and added a game-high four assists.  Boggs ended the contest with 13 points, followed by Vilcinskas' 10 on the night. 

Mars Hill travels to Anderson, South Carolina on Wednesday, January 23 to face the Trojans.  Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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