HARTSVILLE, S.C. --- Jalia Arnwine matched her career high with 19 points and Mia Long scored 15 of her 18 points in the second half as Tusculum University defeated Coker University 75-63 Saturday afternoon in South Atlantic Conference women's basketball action at the DeLoach Center.
Maddie Sutton added 10 points and a team-high 12 rebounds for her third career double for the Pioneers (11-3, 6-2 SAC), who improved to 4-0 on the road in conference games and 7-1 away from Pioneer Arena this season. Tusculum, which tied a school single-game record with 18 three-pointers in a 94-59 win at Mars Hill on Wednesday, connected on 10 threes against Coker but shot just 36.5 percent (23-for-63) overall from the field and 19-for-38 at the foul line.
Arnwine was 6-for-9 from the field and hit a pair of three-pointers to match her career high of 19 points set at King on Nov. 9. Long shot 6-for-11 from the field and dished out a game-high seven assists to go along with four rebounds and three steals. Sutton's 12 rebounds were one shy of her season high and marked her fourth double-figure rebound game of the season.
Shay Jackson led the Cobras (4-8, 1-7 SAC) with 14 points in 20 minutes off the bench, with Janell Horton adding 13 points and six rebounds and Hope Richardson registering a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Coker shot 34.4 percent (22-for-64) from the field and was outrebounded 46-39 by Tusculum. The Pioneers were dominant on the fast break, outscoring the Cobras by a 25-2 margin.
A 6-0 run by Coker gave the Cobras a 6-2 lead just over two minutes into the first quarter, but the Pioneers responded by scoring 22 of the next 24 points over a span of seven minutes. Arnwine hit her first four shots from the field, including a pair of three-pointers, as Tusculum shot 64.7 percent (11-for-17) from the field in the first quarter and hit 6-for-9 from three-point range. The Pioneers took their largest lead of the first quarter at 29-11 on a layup by Elle Hutchinson with just over a minute to go, and held a 29-14 lead after one.
After the Hutchinson basket, the Pioneers missed their next 13 shots until a layup by Sutton ended a nearly seven-minute drought and gave Tusculum a 31-16 lead. Trailing 34-16 with 3:30 to play in the half, the Cobras ran off seven straight points to cut the deficit to 34-23. However, Sutton hit 4-for-4 from the foul line in the final minute as Tusculum carried a 38-23 at halftime.
Arnwine led all players with 10 points in the first half for Tusculum, with Sutton adding nine points and eight rebounds. Hutchinson chipped in with seven points off the bench as the Pioneers fell off to 36.1 percent (13-for-36) from the field in the first half and 6-for-16 from beyond the arc. Erin Houser led the Cobras with eight points and seven rebounds, with Richardson contributing five points and six boards. As a team, Coker shot 23.5 percent (8-for-34) from the field and missed all seven of its three-point attempts in the half.
Long, who was limited to three points in the first half due to foul trouble, broke loose for eight points in the third quarter as the Pioneers maintained their lead. Long hit a pair of three-pointers in the period and Kasey Johnson canned a trey after the Cobras had pulled within 47-40 on a layup by Richardson with 4:18 left in the quarter. Tusculum took a 54-43 lead into the fourth quarter as Coker went scoreless for the final 2 1/2 minutes of the period.
Tusculum opened the fourth quarter by scoring 10 of the first 13 points to equal its largest lead at 18 at 64-46 on a three-point play by Arnwine with 6:46 left. Coker responded with a 12-1 run to pull within 65-58 on a three-point play by Jackson with 2:40 remaining as Tusculum went more than four minutes without a field goal. Johnson ended the drought on a putback with 2:25 left to extend the Pioneer lead to 67-58, and Long added a pair of free throws with 1:02 remaining to put Tusculum up 72-60.
Johnson finished with six points and seven rebounds for the Pioneers, with Hutchinson tallying eight points and four steals in 19 minutes off the bench. Aliyah Miller added seven points and four rebounds in 18 minutes for Tusculum, with Jasmine Williams and Mya Belton each hitting a three-pointer off the Pioneer bench.
For Coker, Emily Davis hit three from three-point range and finished with nine points and five in 24 minutes off the bench. Combined with Jackson's performance, the Cobras' bench outscored the Tusculum reserves by a 23-15 margin in the game.
Tusculum will wrap up its three-game road swing with a visit to local rival Carson-Newman on Wednesday, Jan. 15 at 5:30 p.m. at Holt Fieldhouse. The Eagles will enter the game with a five-game winning streak after beating Queens 89-63 on Saturday, standing at 10-4 overall and tied for third place in the SAC with the Pioneers at 6-2.