Coastal's Comeback Attempt at ULM Falls Short
MONROE, La. - The Coastal Carolina women's basketball team successfully erased a 17-point deficit during Thursday night's game at ULM, but ultimately fell short as the Warhawks pulled away for a 62-56 win at the Fant-Ewing Coliseum.
Coastal's (8-6, 2-1) largest comeback bid of the season was spoiled by ULM's (4-10, 1-2) Gabriella Cortez, who scored a career-high 32 points, including nine points in the fourth quarter to help the Warhawks pull away after Coastal had tied the game and taken a brief lead.
Coastal went in front for the first time all night at the 5:39 mark of the fourth quarter on the heels of a 10-4 run. Cortez then singlehandedly outscored the Chants 9-1 over the next four minutes to give a six-point cushion back to ULM with just over a minute remaining.
Cortez finished 11-of-19 from the field with six 3-pointers, and 4-of-6 at the line. She was the only Warhawk to hit a 3-pointer in the game. ULM's second-leading scorer was Arsula Clark with 12 points. All other ULM players combined for 18 points.
As a team the Warhawks shot 41.5 percent from the field to Coastal's 35.8 percent. Coastal led 40-38 in rebounds, and also held advantages in second-chance points (14-8), bench points (21-9), points in the paint (34-22) and steals (9-5).
Coastal trailed 22-7 after the opening quarter as the Chants' struggled shooting, making just three of 19 attempts. ULM, meanwhile, received 18 points from Cortez, who made 7-of-8 attempts in the quarter with four 3-pointers. The Chants also turned the ball over six times in the frame, leading to 10 ULM points.
The Chants' shooting improved slightly in the second quarter, and they received a break when Cortez picked up her second foul one minute into frame and stayed on the bench for the remaining nine minutes. ULM's eight baskets in the first quarter dropped to just four in the second, and Coastal managed to trim a 17-point deficit to 11 points before halftime.
Coastal dominated the later portion of the third quarter, outscoring ULM 15-3 over the period's final six minutes. Freshman Kaylin West led the charge during that span, scoring eight for the Chants. The Coastal run left ULM nursing a 44-42 lead going into the fourth quarter.
The Chants' 10-4 run in the fourth began just 35 seconds into the quarter, and the score was tied twice before Coastal took its first lead with just over five-and-a-half minutes to go.
West finished the game as Coastal's leading scorer with 13 points. Naheria Hamilton recorded her third double-double of the season with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Jas Adams scored 10 points, and DJ Williams added eight points with six assists.
Thursday's loss spoiled Coastal's bid to start 3-0 in conference play for the first time since 2013-14, and win four straight games since 2014-15. The Chants now move to 1-1 all-time versus ULM.
Coastal returns to action on Saturday when it heads to Louisiana for a 4 p.m. (CT) game. The Chants defeated the Ragin' Cajuns 71-68 last season in the schools' first meeting as Sun Belt rivals.