March 6, 2014
CONWAY - AJ Jordan, Angelica Henry and Alexx Puckett each posted double-digit scoring performances, but it was not enough as third-seeded Winthrop dealt sixth-seed Coastal Carolina a 77-58 defeat in the fourth and final quarterfinal round game of the 2014 VisitMyrtleBeach.com Big South Basketball Championships.
Jordan, Henry and Puckett combined for 48 of the Chanticleers' points, while Dequesha McClanahan and Erica Williams accounted for 44 points for the high-powered Eagle attack.
Winthrop (22-8) will face second-seeded Liberty (20-10) in Saturday's 8p.m. semifinal. Top-seeded High Point (21-9) meets fourth seed Campbell (19-11) in the 6 p.m. semi. The last time the top four seeds reached the Big South semifinal round was 2008.
Three-time Big South Player of the Year McClanahan scored 24 points, while Williams, a second-team all-conference and all-freshman choice, added 20, plus a game-high 12 rebounds. Samiya Wright scored 13 points and Schaquilla Nunn 11. Tiffany Wright had 8 steals to tie the tournament record set in 1987 by Julie Skinner of Campbell vs. Coastal Carolina.
Two nights after setting tournament records for points (106) and field goal percentage (.633), Coastal made just 31.7 percent (20-63) of its attempts and could not overcome a 12-2 burst by Winthrop in the final 3:48 of the first half.
First team All-Big South selection AJ Jordan led Coastal Carolina (15-16) with 19 points; Angelica Henry added 18 and Alexx Puckett 11, plus eight rebounds. Winthrop outscored the host Chanticleers 46-20 in the paint and finished with a 47-35 advantage on the glass. Winthrop shot 50 percent (30-of-60) from the field.
After trailing by 10 at the break, the Chanticleers twice cut the gap to five early in the second half. Puckett's post move trimmed the margin to 51-44 with 12:49 remaining, but Wright made a three and scored in transition to push the Eagle lead back to double-digits (57-44) with 10:19 to go. Coastal drew no closer than nine the rest of the way, while Winthrop led by as many as 19.
Williams scored six points in a 12-0 Winthrop run that gave the Eagles their largest lead (37-25) of the half with 32 seconds to go. Henry ended the burst with a drive in traffic just before the break that trimmed Winthrop's advantage to 10 (37-27) at intermission.
Winthrop shot 54.8 percent (17-31) in the first half and outscored the Chanticleers by a 26-8 margin in the paint. After knocking down a tournament record 63.3 percent of their shots in Tuesday's 106-71 first round victory over Charleston Southern, Coastal made only 9-of-29 (.310) from the floor before half-time.
McClanahan had 12 first-half points on 6-of-13 shooting, while Williams added 10 on 5-of-8 from the field, plus 7 rebounds. Charles nabbed 7 steals in 18 first-half minutes.
Henry led Coastal with 13 points, including 3-of-3 from long range, before the break. The senior point guard made 5-of-8 from the floor, but the rest of the Chanticleers hit only 4-of-21 (.190) in the opening half.
The game marked the conclusion of the collegiate careers of Chanticleer seniors Henry, who amassed 1,021 career points, Puckett and Katelyn Connor.