Defense Leads Chanticleers Past Longwood
Feb. 1, 2014
CONWAY - Coastal Carolina held Longwood scoreless for 10 consecutive possessions to start the second half, while putting together a 15-1 run to overcome a three-point halftime deficit en route to a 64-55 win in women's basketball action Saturday afternoon inside The HTC Center.
The win snaps Coastal's two-game losing skid and improves the team to 11-11 overall and 7-6 in Big South play. Longwood falls to 6-16 and 3-10 in leagues contests with the defeat.
Coastal was paced by balanced scoring from its three leading scorers. Angelica Henry was the Chants' top scorer of the contest with 17 points, while AJ Jordan scored 16 and Alexx Puckett chipped in 14. Puckett was also Coastal's leading rebounder with nine, marking the fifth time this season she fell a single rebound shy of a double-double.
Longwood was led offensively by Daeisha Brown's game-high 25 points.
For the game, Coastal Carolina shot 36.6 percent (15-of-41), while limiting the Lancers to 27.7 percent (18-of-65). The Chants controlled the boards with a 43-37 advantage, while Longwood owned a 26-16 edge in points in the paint.
The first half was a back and forth affair that featured six ties and five lead changes. Coastal led by as many as six twice during the session, but the Lancers fought back to tie the game each time. Jena Hamrick broke the fifth tie of the game with a 3-pointer from the wing and Katelyn Connor followed with a layup, giving the Chants a 28-24 lead with 3:35 to play before the half. Longwood's Brown then scored eight of the half's final nine points, sending the visitors into the locker room with a 32-29 advantage.
Coastal clamped down on the defensive over the initial seven minutes of the second half, holding the Lancers without a point. The Chants took advantage of the Longwood shooting woes and pieced together an 11-0 run to take a 40-32 advantage on the scoreboard. Connor scored inside to ignite the run and Henry gave Coastal the lead after stealing the ball and splitting a trio of Lancer defenders on the way to the basket. Puckett then took control and scored the final seven points with four free throws and an old-fashioned 3-point play.
Brown scored Longwood's first point of the half with a free throw at the 12:50 mark, but CCU responded with a Hamrick jumper in the lane and two free throws from Henry to take a 43-33 lead. The teams traded points over the next several minutes, leaving Coastal up 50-40. The Lancers' then made baskets on back-to-back possessions to cut the Chants' lead to six; however, Coastal quickly regained a double-digit lead with Jordan's 3-pointer from the corner and two Henry freebies.
A Puckett layup at 3:35 would be the Coastal's only field goal the rest of the way, but the team was able to hold at least an eight point advantage via defensive stops and eight free throws down the stretch.
Coastal Carolina returns to the road for two games in the coming week. The Chanticleers travel to Liberty Thursday for a 7 p.m. tipoff before heading to High Point for a 4 p.m. clash on Saturday.