HARTSVILLE, S.C. — James West IV scored a career-high 26 points while hitting eight 3-pointers in leading the Tusculum University men’s basketball team to an 81-67 wire-to-wire South Atlantic Conference victory over Coker University on Saturday at the DeLoach Center.

The Pioneers (11-4, 11-4 SAC) won their fifth straight game and remain in third place in the league standings with a .733 won-loss percentage.

West went 8-of-14 from 3-point territory, including 5-of-9 in the first half as Tusculum raced to a 54-26 lead at the intermission. Tusculum shot a blistering 10-of-18 from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes while Coker shot 38 percent from the field and missed all six of its long-range attempts.

TU’s Trenton Gibson scored all 16 of his points in the first half and nearly posted his second career triple-double as he tallied eight assists and nine rebounds. He also recorded four steals and went 4-of-5 from the free throw line.

Tusculum senior forward Brandon Mitchell blocked two shots to give him 159 for his career, tying the program record set by former All-SAC standout Brad Hawks (2001-2004). He finished the game with seven points and six rebounds.

Tusculum will close the regular season by hosting Lenoir-Rhyne University at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL Tusculum 84, Coker 59

HARTSVILLE, S.C. — Maddie Sutton scored a career-best 33 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for her 11th consecutive double-double and Tusculum University took over sole possession of first place in the South Atlantic Conference with a win at Coker University on Saturday.

Jalia Arnwine added 22 points for the Pioneers (15-2, 15-2 SAC), who improved to 9-0 on the road and leaped Carson-Newman to the top of the league standings heading into the final week of the regular season.

Tusculum can claim the top seed in the upcoming SAC Championship tournament with a victory at UVA Wise in its regular-season finale at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. The Eagles (14-2) lost 72-67 at Limestone on Saturday and finish their season at home against Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday.

The Pioneers will travel to UVA Wise looking to earn the program’s first SAC regular-season championship since 2010-11 and complete a perfect 10-0 season on the road. The Pioneers beat the Cavaliers 79-68 at home on Nov. 24 in what was the season opener for UVA Wise. The Cavaliers (12-4, 11-4 SAC) are in fourth place in the conference and are 7-2 at home this season, following a 75-53 loss to visiting Wingate on Saturday.

Tusculum broke a 3-3 tie against Coker with an 8-0 run and led 46-24 at halftime. The Pioneers shot 48.3 percent (28-for-58) from the field while holding the Cobras to 33.8 percent for the contest. Tusculum’s streak of nine straight road wins is tied for the fifth-longest current streak in Division II and is the most consecutive road victories for the Pioneers since winning nine straight away from home (six road, three neutral) during the 1995-96 season.

Sutton, who had set a career high of 32 points in an 85-54 win at Queens on Feb. 8, shot 11-for-14 from the field and 11-for-12 from the foul line. Sutton’s 11 rebounds gave her a Division II-leading 15th double-double of the season, and she added five assists in 38 minutes.

Arnwine, who drilled a career-high six 3-pointers and scored 22 points in the Pioneers’ 71-62 comeback win over Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday, hit five from beyond the arc against Coker while surpassing the 20-point mark for the third time this season.

Emily Davis led the Cobras (7-11, 7-10 SAC) with 13 points.

BASEBALL Pioneers Win Series

Tusculum University’s Bryson Ford tied a school single-game record scoring five runs in the nightcap as the Pioneers split a non-conference doubleheader with the University of Indianapolis on Sunday at Pioneer Park.

UIndy starter Reid Werner pitched an eight-inning gem as the Greyhounds defeated the Pioneers 9-2 in the opener, while Tusculum drew 15 walks in the second game to win 16-7 and capture the weekend series two games to one.

Game 1

UIndy 9, Tusculum 2

UIndy’s Brandon DeWitt went 3-for-4 with three RBI and Werner blanked the Pioneers through the first five innings.

Werner (1-0) scattered five hits, allowed two runs, walked one and struck out nine in his 119-pitch performance. Reliever Zach Rana pitched a perfect ninth inning with a pair of strikeouts.

Tusculum’s Daulton Martin broke up the shutout with a lead-off homer over the right field wall in the bottom of the sixth. He would drive in TU’s second run two innings later with an RBI double to right.

Game 2

Tusculum 16, UIndy 7

Tusculum fell behind six runs again, but a nine-run second inning and 15 bases on balls helped the Pioneers rally.

The Pioneers had just seven hits, but nine of the 15 walks scored. TU reliever Mitch McCain (1-0) recorded a career-high 10 strikeouts in 5⅓ innings to pick up the victory. He allowed one unearned run, one hit and walked two.

Ford went 3-for-5 with his five runs scored for Tusculum. Brandon Trammel went 2-for-3 with four RBI and a pair of walks for the Pioneers.

Tusculum will be on the road on Tuesday as they travel to Young Harris University to take on the Mountain Lions for a 2 p.m. first pitch.

Saturday’s game

Tusculum 12, UIndy 5

Chase Wullenweber went 3-for-4 with a home run and five RBI to lead Tusculum .

The Pioneers racked up a dozen hits while TU starter Gunner Becker pitched seven shutout innings.

Becker scattered five hits, walked three and struck out eight.

Trammell belted a two-run homer for the Pioneers. He and Murphy Flood each finished with two hits, while Martin tallied his 61st career double, which already was a new program best. It was also the 243rd hit in his career and is now 20 away from surpassing TU Hall of Famer Josh Wolff (262 from 2003-2006).

TRACK & FIELD Cronin Earns NCAA Provisional

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Tusculum University men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams combined to set four school records in eight events during competition at the Camel City Invitational held Friday and Saturday at the JDL Fast Track.


Senior Will Cronin finished fourth in the 5000 meters on Friday night with a time of 14:39.49, which surpassed his own record of 14:54.28 set at the Gamecock Opener on Jan. 18 of last season. His time converted to 14:30.17 for track size, which is an NCAA Division II provisional qualifying mark and is 35th-best in the country this season.

Senior Althiery Leontes tied his school record in the preliminaries of the 60 hurdles at 8.45 seconds, which he ran at the VMI Winter Classic last weekend. In the finals, Leontes finished fourth with a mark of 8.54 seconds in the finals.

Senior Kyle Stanley also set a school record in the 600 meters, finishing third in 1:26.71. In the 60 meters, sophomore Devan Hart finished 11th in 7.13 seconds, while sophomore Antonio Aparicio placed 10th in the 800 meters at 1:58.35, the fourth-fastest time in program history.


In her season debut, sophomore Faith Bostick ran 7.91 in the preliminaries of the 60-meter dash to break the mark of 7.94 seconds set by freshman Justice Wade at ETSU on Feb. 6. In the finals, Bostick reset the record as she ran 7.84 to finish fifth overall.

Senior Kenisha Stubbs was 10th in the 60 hurdles at 9.45 seconds, the fifth-best mark in program history, and finished seventh in the 60 dash at 8.30 seconds.

In the mile, freshman Emily Coddington placed 16th in a deep field with a time of 5:17.94, cutting more than 6 1/2 seconds off her previous season best of 5:26.66 set at the VMI Winter Relays on Jan. 30.

MEN’S BOWLING Pioneers Post Strong Finishes

INDIANAPOLIS — The Tusculum University men’s bowling team posted a pair of top-tier finishes to wrap up its two-day trip to the 52nd annual Hoosier Classic, which was held at the Western Bowl.

In the Hoosier Classic No. 3, the Pioneers finished 13th of 33 programs with a five-game team total 4,572 pins. TU’s Tyler Moore had another strong day as he finished seventh individually with 1,033 pins.

The Pioneers bowled a weekend-best 1,012 in Sunday’s third team game.

In Sunday’s second session (Hoosier Classic #4), the Pioneers finished fifth in the 25-game Baker format with 4,642 pins.

Tusculum will return to Indianapolis March 27-28 for the Columbia 300 Western Shootout.

MEN’S TENNIS Pioneers 6, Milligan 1

MILLIGAN — Playing in its third match in less than 30 hours, the Tusculum University men’s tennis team topped Milligan University in non-conference play on Sunday.

The Pioneers (3-1) won five of the six singles matches against the Buffaloes (1-1) after traveling to Georgia on Saturday for a pair of contests.

In doubles, Dmitry Bezborodov and Nemanja Subanovic teamed for a 6-1 win over Jose Giler and Griffin Leonard at flight one, and Kenta Koundu and Jacco Mensinga beat Taylor Graalman and Derian Janeke 6-0 at flight two to clinch the team point for the Pioneers.

In singles, Bezoborodov beat Mason Grear 6-1, 6-1 at flight one and Kondou bested Ryan Thomas 6-1, 6-1 at flight two. Michael Younan earned a 6-1, 6-4 victory at flight three over Graalman, and Mensinga was a 6-0, 6-0 winner at flight four over Nathan Smiley. Lluis Tomas claimed the fifth singles win for the Pioneers by beating Carter Rigsby 6-4, 6-3 at flight five.

The Pioneers will visit UNC Asheville for an exhibition match at 3 p.m. Thursday.

WOMEN’S TENNIS Pioneers Split

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. — The Tusculum University women’s tennis team split a pair of matches on Saturday, falling 4-3 to 15th-ranked University of North Georgia in the morning and defeating Young Harris College 7-0 in the afternoon.

The 23rd-ranked Pioneers (2-2) did not lose a set in their victory over the Mountain Lions (1-3), led by 6-0, 6-0 victories in singles from Caitlin McCullough at flight three and Paulina Loretz at flight five. McCullough also earned a 6-0 win in doubles, teaming with Annie McCullough for the shutout of Jing Dong and Juli Boerr at flight one.

Tusculum took the doubles point as Emilie Hansen and Amber Lackey teamed up for a 6-1 win at flight two over Zoe Freke and Catarina Marcko Ferreira. Hansen was also a winner in singles, defeating Ferreira 6-4, 6-1 at flight four.

In other singles competition, Annie McCullough beat Dong 6-4, 6-2 at flight one, Julia Lopez downed Boerr 6-2, 6-4 at flight two and Martina Marras earned a 6-1, 7-5 victory over Leanna Wood at flight six.

In the match with North Georgia, the Pioneers went up 1-0 in doubles as the McCulloughs beat Vaishali Jorge and Annie Adams 6-3 at flight one, and Hansen and Lackey downed Johanna Lippert and Cibeles Zuddy 6-3 at flight two.

The Pioneers went ahead 3-1 in the match as Caitlin McCullough defeated Adams 6-3, 7-5 at flight three and Annie McCullough won 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 over Jorge at flight one. However, the Nighthawks (2-0) won the last three singles matches to rally for the victory.Tusculum will play an exhibition match at Western Carolina at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

WOMEN’S LACROSSE Pioneers 17, Southern Wesleyan 7

Juliette Cusano scored seven goals to become the all-time leader in career goals at Tusculum as the Pioneers won their season opener Sunday at Pioneer Field.

Tia Tuininga added four goals, Emily Youngblood scored three times and Kylie Marek chipped in with a pair of goals for the Pioneers (1-0), who outscored the Warriors (0-3) by a 13-3 margin in the second half after the teams played to a 4-4 deadlock in the opening half.

Tusculum will open its South Atlantic Conference schedule at Mars Hill at 4 p.m. Saturday.

WOMEN’S SOCCER Catawba 1, Pioneers 0

PINEVILLE, N.C. — Sharon Mayes scored in the 72nd minute to give Catawba College a non-conference victory on Friday night.

The Pioneers (0-1-0) were outshot 23-6 but were kept in the game by goalkeeper Cece Mortensen, who finished with nine saves including a first-half penalty kick.

The Indians (1-0-0) were able to protect the lead following Mayes’ goal, holding the Pioneers without a shot for the final 17½ minutes.

Friday’s match was considered a non-conference contest since all 12 SAC teams will play a round-robin league schedule against three designated conference opponents.

Tusculum will host Mars Hill in its South Atlantic Conference opener at 5 p.m. Thursday.