Coastal Falls in 60-58 Heartbreaker at UTA
ARLINGTON, Texas - Coastal Carolina led for nearly 33 minutes of play, but could not withstand a 6-3 run by UT Arlington over the game's final three minutes as the Mavericks edged the Chanticleers, 60-58, Saturday afternoon at College Park Center.
Coastal (5-7, 0-2) had an opportunity to send the game to overtime, calling a timeout with three seconds remaining and advancing the ball into the offensive end, but could not get off a last-second shot on the inbounds play.
UTA (8-3, 2-0), led for only 4:11 of the game, but outscored Coastal 28-23 during the second half to complete the comeback.
UTA was led by the 22 and 14 points of Cierra Johnson and Rebekah VanDijk, respectively, and held advantages of 37-33 in rebounds and 34-18 in points in the paint. VanDijk also led the Mavs' rebounding efforts with 16 boards to complete the double-double.
Coastal led in nearly every other statistical category and was paced by the 21 points of Ced Gibson, who also led the Chants with 22 points in their previous outing at Texas State. Gibson has now scored more than 20 points in seven of Coastal's last 10 conference games dating back to Feb. 16 of the 2015-16 season.
Alexis Robinson added nine points and led the Chants with 12 rebounds.
The Chants were called for a season-high 29 fouls in the contest, allowing UTA to hit 20 of 27 chances from the free throw line.
Coastal used an early 12-0 run to take a 22-11 lead into the second quarter. Gibson led the Chants with 11 points in the first, while the Coastal defense held UTA scoreless for a 5:17 span and limited the Mavs to shooting just 3-of-15 from the field for the quarter.
The Coastal defense continued to hold strong early in the second quarter, keeping the Mavs off the board for over two minutes to start the frame. This time, however, it was the Coastal offense that suffered a scoring drought, going nearly five minutes without a point while UTA tacked on eight straight to narrow the gap. Johnson led the Mavs with nine points in the quarter, and VanDijk scored five straight points in the span of a minute to cut Coastal's lead to just two points, 26-24. Jas Adams halted the Mavs' charge with a 3-pointer, and Kennedy Archer and Breelyn Blanding added layups in the half's final minutes to help Coastal remain in front, 35-32, heading into the locker room.
UTA evened the score for the first time since the opening quarter at the 2:45 mark of the third quarter on a pair of free throws from VanDijk, and Johnson gave the Mavs their first lead of the game a minute later on another pair of shots from the stripe. The UTA advantage didn't last long as Adams sunk a shot from the line and Gibson hit a 3-pointer with 18 seconds remaining to give Coastal a 47-46 lead going into the fourth quarter.
UTA held a pair of one-point leads in the opening minutes of the final frame, but did not overtake the lead for good until the 2:08 mark of the fourth when VanDijk knocked down her final shot of the day to put the Mavs in front, 58-57. Johnson worked her way to the line a minute later and hit two shots to push UTA's lead to three. Alexis Robinson then split a pair of shots from the stripe with 34 seconds remaining to close the game's scoring.
Coastal returns to the friendly confines of the HTC Center for the first time in over three weeks to begin a three-game home stand against Little Rock on Jan. 5 at 7 p.m.