Gibson Leads Coastal Past Louisiana on Senior Day
CONWAY - Senior point guard Ced Gibson matched her career scoring high with 26 points, 13 of which came in the fourth quarter as Coastal held off a surging Louisiana team to take a 71-68 win Saturday afternoon inside the HTC Center. It was Coastal's final home game of the season, as well as the final home game for Chanticleer seniors Gibson, Rachael Gregory, Yasmin Miller, Alexis Robinson, Derriel Banyard and Olivia Carlton.
Coastal (12-15, 7-10) led 48-45 entering the fourth quarter, and fought to regain its lead three times over the final 10 minutes of play. Louisiana (16-9, 10-6) led for the final time with 1:59 remaining, when Jaylyn Gordon hit a short jumper to put the Ragin' Cajuns in front by one. Gibson followed with a 3-pointer to put Coastal back in front for good, and hit a trio of free throws with less than 30 seconds remaining to ensure the Chanticleer victory.
Gibson's last time scoring 26 points was against Campbell during the 2015-16 season, and Saturday's 20-plus point performance was her fifth of the season. The senior shot 7-of-15 from the floor with three 3-pointers, and 9-of-10 from the line. Gibson also dished out six assists, marking the fifth consecutive game in which she's scored in double figures and handed out at least five assists.
Gregory followed with 14 points and eight rebounds, and Naheria Hamilton added an 11-point, 11-rebound double-double, her third of the season.
Coastal shot 43 percent from the floor to Louisiana's 39 percent, and won the battle on the boards 40-34.
The Ragin' Cajuns were paced by the 18 points of Gordon, who finished 7-of-21 from the field and 3-of-5 at the line. Malachi Seraphin-Williams and Troi Swain added 12 points each for Louisiana.
Louisiana led 17-12 at the end of a first quarter that saw the score tied twice and the lead change hands three times.
The Ragin' Cajuns expanded their lead into double figures early in the second quarter, hitting three of their first four shots from the floor to outscore Coastal 8-2 over the frame's opening three minutes. The Chants regrouped following a called timeout, bringing the margin back into single digits and stringing together a 10-2 run to cut Louisiana's advantage to a single point. Williams then scored five straight points for Louisiana in a 30-second span, and the sides traded a pair of baskets for the remainder of the half, allowing the Ragin' Cajuns to take a 38-34 lead into halftime.
Rachael Gregory opened the second half with a layup, and Gibson followed with a 3-pointer that gave Coastal its first lead since early in the game. The Chants held on to the lead for the remainder of the third quarter, outscoring the Ragin' Cajuns 14-7 in the frame. Coastal limited Louisiana to shooting just 3-of-12 (25 percent) from the floor, and was paced on the scoreboard by the seven and five points of Gibson and Hamilton, respectively.
Coastal turned the ball over eight times in the final quarter, resulting in seven Louisiana points, but the Ragin' Cajuns had no answer for Gibson's 13 points in the frame. Gregory was also clutch in the game's final minutes, scoring six points and hitting all four of her attempts from the free throw line. Kennedy Archer additionally chipped in, hitting a big 3-pointer with 38 seconds remaining to break a 63-63 tie.
Coastal now heads to Appalachian State next Saturday for a 1 p.m. game to close the regular season. The Chants defeated the Mountaineers 60-55 in the HTC Center on Jan. 14.