CONWAY, S.C. The Coastal Carolina University womens basketball team (9-6, 0-2 Big South) fell to Radford (10-6, 2-0 Big South) 61-59 in an overtime thriller Jan. 15 in Conway, S.C. Junior Victoria Blanchard (Eutawville, S.C./Walters State C.C.) hit a three-pointer with 31 seconds left to send the game into extra time but Radford rallied back in the overtime period to win its sixth in a row.
Coastal trailed by only two with 2:58 left on a jumper from freshman Amanda Stull (Rushville, Ind./Rushville Consolidated). One free throw from senior Alisha Dill (Johnson City, Tenn./Science Hill) made it a 52-51 game with 1:46 left in regulation. Radford came back to make it a three-point advantage as Vandy Pullens layup with 1:15 gave the Highlanders a 54-51 lead. That set up Blanchards three to tie. Shavon Earp tried to give Radford the win in regulation, but missed a three-pointer, sending the game into overtime.
Coastal scored the first four points in the overtime period on a jumper from senior Vanessa Laug (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) and a layup from Dill. But Radfords Kelli Darden made it 58-56 with 3:53 left. Sarah Stephens hit 1-of-2 free throws with 2:39 left to make it a one point Coastal lead. Corrie Fertittas layup at 1:10 then tied the game at 59. On Coastals end, freshman Devin Rivers (Miami, Fla./Felix Varela) missed a jumper and fouled Radfords Johnette Walker. Walker hit one free throw making it 60-59 Radford. Coastal had looks, but Dill and Laug missed jumpers, with Laugs rattling in and out. Fertitta hit one free throw, giving Coastal one more chance, but Dills jumper as time expired was short.
The first-half lead was never more than four points, with Coastal owning a 25-24 lead at the break. Coastal had a 24-20 led on a Rivers layup at 3:49, but jumpers from Darden and Fertitta cut it to one. Coastal shot 40 percent in the first half, while Radford was at 31.4 percent. Dill had 12 points, while Blanchard and Laug grabbed four rebounds. For Radford, Darden and Pullen had eight points apiece, with Walker dishing off five assists.
Coastal jumped out to a 29-24 lead on a Stull jumper at 18:48 and led by four (44-40) on a Dill three with 9:35 left. Radford then went on a 7-0 run, capped by a Sarah Stephens layup at 7:28. Radford led by four as late as 3:15, but Coastal scored six of the last eight points in regulation to send the Lady Chants to their first overtime game since the 2003-04 season.
Dill led all scorers with 22 points and moved to ninth on CCU's all-time scoring list with 1,031 points. Laug had Coastals first double-double of the season, scoring 10 points and grabbing a career high 10 rebounds. Blanchard added nine points while Rivers had nine rebounds. Coastal finished the game shooting 39.7 percent from the floor, but just 9-of-21 from the free-throw line.
Radford was led by three players in double figures. Pullen tied a career high with 13 points, with Fertitta and Darden chipping in with 12 points. Fertitta had nine rebounds, while Walker set a career high with 11 assists. Darden, Radfords all-time blocks leader, finished with six. Radford outrebounded Coastal 48-40 and shot 35.5 percent for the game.
Coastal now takes the road to Asheville, N.C., to face UNC Asheville Saturday, Jan. 20 at 3 p.m. Radford hosts Winthrop the same day at 3:30 p.m.