The Coastal Carolina University womens basketball team (3-7) almost made a comeback from a 17-point deficit against South Carolina State University (6-5), but the Lady Bulldogs answered every Coastal run in defeating the Lady Chanticleers 77-68 Jan. 3, in Orangeburg, S.C.
South Carolina State scored 28 points in the paint in the first half to take a 37-28 halftime lead. Melaney Denson went inside for a layup to give SCSU a 12-6 lead at the 15:03 mark. Five points from Latoya Dent, including a three-pointer at12:19 gave the Lady Bulldogs a 19-10 lead. Junior Amber Rose (Bloomington Springs, Tenn./Upperman) hit a three at 7:08 to cut the lead to 27-20, but South Carolina State went on a 10-0 the next 2:06 that was capped by a Marquita Fenn layup. Coastal ended the half on an 8-0 that was fueled by six points from junior Kim Turner (West Memphis, Ark./Hiwassee C.C.) and a fast-break layup from sophomore Alisha Dill (Johnson City, Tenn./Science Hill). Coastal held South Carolina State scoreless for the last 5:03 of the first half.
Coastal was led in the first half by Turners eight points. Senior Courtney Brown (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch) added seven. SCSU was led by Denson and Evena Morency, who had 12 points apiece. Coastal shot 40 percent in the first half, while SCSU blistered the nets for 55.2 percent.
Coastal cut the lead to 37-34 with 17:54 to go on back-to-back threes from Rose. The Lady Bulldogs forced the lead back to double-digits just three minutes later on a layup from Denson. Coastal started to make a run at the 10-minute mark. Junior Demaria Young (Memphis, Tenn./Walters State C.C.) hit a three to cut the lead to 54-44 at 10:47. Four free throws by Turner and Young in an eight-second span made it a one-possession contest at 54-51, but South Carolina State had an old-fashion three-point play and a free throw at 8:12 to extend the lead to 58-53. Coastal had its closest margin at 6:30, when back-to-back Turner layups made it 60-58 SCSU, but a bucket by Chanykeson Ambroise and a three from LaToya Dent sent the lead back to seven. A three-point play by Brown got the deficit to 69-63, but that would be the closest the Lady Chanticleers would get.
Turner had a career-high 22 points on the night, going 10-of-18 from the field. She added eight rebounds and two steals. Brown had 16 points and tied the game-high with nine rebounds. Rose was the third Lady Chant in double figures with 14 points, going 4-of-7 from three-point range.
South Carolina State was led by Denson with 22 ponits and six rebounds. Evena Morency added 16 points and nine rebounds. Ambroise and Dent had six assists apiece.
The Lady Bulldogs shot 53.4 percent from the field and went 13-of-19 from the line. They ended with 42 points in the paint.
Coastal was 6-of-18 from three-point range, and shot 42.9 percent from the field. The Lady Chants were outrebounded by SCSU 37-32.
Coastal hosts Coker College Wednesday, Jan. 5, at 5 p.m. The game can be heard on THE TEAM 93.9 FM in Myrtle Beach and on www.GoCCUSports.com.