Coastal Holds Off NCCU, 68-65
CONWAY - For the second straight game the Coastal Carolina women's basketball team saw a late lead slip away, but still managed to come away with a victory as the Chants held on to defeat North Carolina Central, 68-65, Friday night at the HTC Center.
Coastal's (5-4) eight point lead with 1:30 remaining in regulation was cut to a single point with 40 seconds left on the clock, and once again with 20 seconds to go. DJ Williams knocked down a pair of free throws with 13 seconds remaining, and the Chanticleer defense did not allow NCCU (2-5) a quality shot to tie the game as time expired.
The final free throws capped a 21-point night for Williams, who led all players in scoring while shooting 8-of-14 from the field and 5-of-7 from the line. Williams also had game highs in rebounds and assists, finishing with eight each and setting a career high in the latter category.
Rodneysha Martin handled the bulk of NCCU's scoring while putting up 20 points. Jada Blow finished with 12 points for the Eagles.
Coastal shot 54 percent from the field for the game, including 71 percent (10-14) in the first quarter while taking an early 26-12 lead. Adams recorded nine of her 16 points in the opening frame, followed closely by Williams' eight.
The Chants' shooting cooled off in the second quarter, returning to its season average of 38 percent. NCCU outscored Coastal by nine in the second, taking advantage of six CCU turnovers and converting them into eight points. Coastal held Martin scoreless in the frame, but Deja McCain and Dominique Adams each contributed five points for the Eagles.
Coastal led 36-31 at halftime, but struggled to maintain that lead as Martin went off for 14 points in the second half.
NCCU scored nine unanswered points over a two-and-a-half minute span during the third quarter to give the Eagles a three-point lead. Martin accounted for all but one of those nine points. Williams responded with three points of her own to tie the game, and the score was evened twice more before the quarter came to an end. Adams swung the lead back to Coastal heading into the fourth as the second of two free throws gave the Chants a 52-51 advantage.
Coastal remained in front for the game's final 10 minutes, despite the late push by NCCU. The Chants scored the quarter's first six points to lead by seven, and later used a 6-3 run to reach their eight-point lead with 1:30 remaining. Hamilton had six points for Coastal in the final frame, followed by four each from Williams and Blanding.
NCCU closed the game shooting 39 percent from the field but held a 34-29 advantage in rebounds, including 17 offensive rebounds that led to 18 second-chance points. Coastal dominated in the paint, outscoring the Eagles 36-14.
Coastal has over a week off before its next contest. The Chants take on Syracuse on Dec. 17 at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center as part of the Philanthropist.com Carolinas Challenge. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.