Jan. 13, 2014
CONWAY - Winthrop used 43 second-half points to surge past Coastal Carolina en route to a 77-53 victory in women's basketball action on Monday night inside The HTC Center.
Winthrop's Dequesha McClanahan, the two-time defending Big South Conference Player of the Year, and freshman Erica Williams co-led all scorers with 21 points each. Redshirt junior Samiya Wright added 16, including 15 in the first half, while Pamela Decheva scored 11 for the visiting Eagles.
Coastal was led offensively by AJ Jordan's 10 points. The junior also recorded a team-high eight rebounds. Freshman Karsen Sims and redshirt freshman Megan Pittman each scored nine points on the night.
The win was the third in a row for the Eagles who moved to a Big South-best 12-4 overall and 6-1 in conference play. Coastal falls to 8-8 on the year and 4-3 against league opponents.
The teams entered the first media timeout with Winthrop holding a 6-5 lead; however, the Eagles would reel off 17 of the next 24 points to take a 23-12 advantage with 7:18 remaining before the half. Coastal then countered with a 9-0 run of its own, making the score 26-21 in the visitor's favor. Pittman and Katelyn Connor each made one at the charity stripe to start the scoring run. Kayla Cook then used a spin move to the baseline for an open layup and Sims connected on a triple from the wing. Alexx Puckett capped the run with a jumper from the free-throw line off a Cook assist.
Winthrop's Wright broke the CCU momentum with a 20-foot jumper following Puckett's score. Sims answered with a three on Coastal's next possession, cutting the Eagle lead to 28-24 with 2:11 showing on the clock. However, the Chants would get no closer as Winthrop used four points from Wright and two from McClanahan to close the half on a 6-0 run and take a 34-24 lead into the intermission.
The Eagles opened the second half on a 20-11 run, taking a 19 point lead with 13:18 to play in the contest. McClanahan then scored five straight points on two jumpers and a free throw, extending Winthrop's lead to 59-35 and putting the game out of the Chanticleers reach. The Eagles' largest lead came at 70-40 with 6:27 left in the game. Coastal outscored the Eagles 13-7 the rest of the way to provide the 77-53 final.
The Chanticleers shot 35.1 percent (20-of-57) overall, while Winthrop connected on 52.5 percent (31-of-59) of its shot attempts. The Eagles held a 43-25 advantage in points in the paint and a 22-8 edge in points off turnovers.
Coastal Carolina will be in action again Thursday when it travels to Clinton, S.C. to face Presbyterian College at 7:00 p.m. Winthrop hosts perennial Big South power Liberty in its next contest on Thursday at 7 p.m.