Brendan Shriver, Staff Writer
In a wild game that featured 10 ties and 15 lead changes, Wingate (15-14) won their home SAC Tournament quarterfinal game Wednesday against the Coker Cobras (12-17), rallying from an 11-point second half deficit and winning in overtime 76-75 on a jumper with 20 seconds left by Emarius Logan.
Four Bulldogs scored in double figures, with Devarious Christian leading Wingate with 16 points and 10 rebounds and Jeremy Williams scored 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Neico Robinson also had 13 points and five rebounds and Logan had 11 points and four assists. Finally, Marco Haskins and Kendrick Tucker had good contributions for Wingate, with Haskins recording seven points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals and Tucker posted six points, four rebounds and three steals.
Khalil Halls lead the visitors with 27 points on 10-of-22 shooting, including five three-pointers. Donte Samuels scored 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Demarco Jackson also had 12 points for the Cobras.
For the game, Wingate shot 41.9 percent from the field while Coker shot 41 percent from the floor. But the most crucial statistics were the turnovers and rebounds. Coker out-rebounded Wingate 47-34 and the Bulldogs scored 22 points off of 18 Coker turnovers.
In the first half, Wingate’s largest lead was six. However, Coker rallied to tie it with a minute left but a Quantra Taylor layup at the buzzer sent Wingate into the locker room up 35-33.
In the second half, Wingate took a four-point lead, but Coker went on a 12-0 run to take a 45-37 lead with 16 minutes left. The Cobras then extended their lead to 11 on a Halls three-pointer. But the rest of the game was a back-and-forth affair, with each team going on multiple runs.
Wingate then cut it to six, only to have Coker extend it back to nine. However, Wingate went on a 7-0 run to get within two at 55-53 with nine minutes left. Coker then countered with a 10-2 run to take a 65-57 lead with six minutes left but Wingate quickly rallied to tie the game.
In the last minute, Christian gave the Bulldogs the lead on two free throws but a Halls tip-in in the dying seconds sent it to overtime at 69.
The extra period was marked by answer after answer, eventually with Logan hitting the game-winner and after two turnovers in the last 15 seconds, a Halls missed jumper and defensive rebound by Taylor gave Wingate the victory.
Wingate Head Coach Brian Good said, “Our bench was so important tonight, with us being short-handed.” “I thought it was a gritty, tough-nosed win. Really proud of the winning plays that our guys made with the game on the line late in regulation and in overtime.”
Wingate moves on to the SAC Tournament semifinals and will face #1 Lincoln Memorial (28-1) on Saturday in Greenville, S.C. while Coker ends its season at 12-17 overall. LMU swept the regular-season series against Wingate, going 20-0 in SAC play.
Edited by Brendan Shriver