A-State Snaps Coastal's Home Winning Streak
CONWAY - The Coastal Carolina women's basketball team saw its seven-game home winning streak come to an end Thursday night as visiting Arkansas State defeated the Chants, 70-63, at the HTC Center.
Four players scored in double figures for Coastal (11-9, 5-4), including Naheria Hamilton collecting her fourth double-double of the season, but it was not enough to overcome Arkansas State (10-9, 5-3) and the 23 points of Jada Ford.
Coastal led for 25:15 of the game and went in front by as many as 13 points in the first half. The Chants also held a lead of four points at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but A-State overtook the lead for good with just over five minutes remaining in the game. After taking a seven point lead, the Red Wolves finished the game with seven straight free throws.
Ford's 23 points came on 8-of-13 from the field with four 3-pointers, and three makes at the line. Akasha Westbrook supplied 14 points, and Madison Heckert was the third A-State player in double figures with 12 points. Westbrook also brought in a team-leading 10 rebounds to complete her double-double.
A-State shot slightly better from the field, finishing at 40 percent to Coastal's 37 percent, but fell 10 rebounds behind the Chants' total of 49. Coastal had its second-highest turnover total of the season with 24, but the Red Wolves managed just 15 points off of the Chants' giveaways.
Hamilton's double-double included 16 points and 13 rebounds, the latter being a career high for the sophomore center. DJ Williams matched Hamilton with 16 points, and dished out a game-high six assists. Kaylin West (13 points) and Breelyn Blanding (10 points) rounded out the Chants' leading scorers.
Boosted by a stretch of 15 unanswered points over six minutes, the Chants took a 21-10 lead over the Red Wolves in the opening quarter. Blanding led the Chants with seven points and two assists in the quarter, including five points during Coastal's scoring streak. Coastal shot an efficient 50 percent from the field while holding A-State to five baskets on 16 attempts (31 percent).
A-State made up ground in the second quarter by outscoring Coastal 13-5. The Chants were limited to a pair of free throws through the first nine minutes of the quarter. Ford and Bradshaw combined to score eight of the Red Wolves' 13 points, with Ford's second layup tying the game with just over a minute to go before halftime. West closed the half with a 3-pointer -- Coastal's lone field goal of the quarter -- to put the Chants back in front, 26-23, at the break.
After a low-scoring first half the two sides combined to score over 40 points in the third quarter. Coastal shot over 61 percent in the third, making eight of its 13 attempts, while A-State made eight of its 17 attempts. Both the Chants and Red Wolves were 2-of-3 from 3-point range. Coastal went on an 8-2 run early in the quarter, but A-State responded with a 15-4 run to take a four-point lead, its first since the opening quarter. Blanding tied the game for the fourth time with a 3-pointer in the frame's final minute, and Williams added a layup at the buzzer to swing the lead back to Coastal.
A lengthy fourth quarter included two more ties, two lead changes and several trips to the replay monitor as the game wound down. After A-State captured the lead prior to the midway point of the quarter, Ford hit two key 3-pointers to put the Red Wolves ahead by seven. The teams traded free throws over the next two minutes, resulting in A-State taking an eight point lead, its largest of the game. Williams and Alise Davis then made consecutive layups to cut the deficit in half, but those were final points of the game for Coastal. A-State tacked on three more from the free-throw line before the clock reached zeroes.
Coastal is back in action at the HTC Center on Saturday hosting league-leading Little Rock for a 1 p.m. game.