CONWAY, S.C.- The Coastal Carolina University womens basketball team (7-7, 1-1 Big South) gave Liberty University (10-6, 2-0 Big South) a scare for the second straight year in Kimbel Arena, but the Lady Flames came out on top over the Lady Chants 69-58. Coastal was within five points at 2:39 of the second half, but Liberty went on a 11-5 run to end the game.
Liberty started the game on a 10-2 run in the first 6:48, as Big South Preseason Player of the Year Katie Feenstra started with five of those points. Coastal would cut it to four on freshman Vanessa Laugs (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) layup at 10:40, but the Lady Flames brought the lead back to eight a minute later and went up by 15 as late as 3:50 on a jumper from Leslie Jones. Coastal ended the half on a 12-0 run. Senior Crystal Brown (Mineral Wells, W.Va./Parkersburg South) hit a jumper at 3:35. One minute later, senior Temecca Barnes (Malone, Fla./Chipola J.C.) scored four straight points and junior Courtney Brown (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch) nailed a three-pointer at 1:06. She then was fouled on a three-pointer with 12 seconds left, hitting all three free throws and Coastal went into the lockerroom down only 27-24 at halftime.
Coastal would tie the game at 30 on a Barnes layup at 18:03, forcing the Lady Flames to call a timeout. Liberty quickly answered, getting the lead to 37-31 on free throws from Crystal Peace at 14:50. The Lady Flames then went on a 14-3 run over the next four minutes, leading 51-36 with 9:17 remaining. The Lady Chants did not back down and cut the lead to five with 2:39 remaining on a jumper from senior Cyndie Troutman (Hampton, Tenn./Walters State C.C.). Liberty, however, never let the Lady Chants any closer, as the Lady Flames hit 11-of-14 free throws in the final 2:39.
Leading the way for the Lady Chants was Troutman with 13 points and four steals. Senior Nikki Reddick (Hartsville, S.C./Hartsville) and Courtney Brown had nine points apiece. Crystal Brown led Coastal with six rebounds and added five steals.
Coastal shot only 32.8 percent from the field, but was in the game late due to 13 steals and forcing Liberty into 24 turnovers.
Liberty went 50 percent from the field and was led by Feenstra with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Monique Leonard was the other Lady Flame in double figures, scoring 12 points. Liberty has now won 18 straight contests against Coastal.
Coastal plays Radford University Monday, Jan. 19, at 5 p.m., in Kimbel Arena. Liberty is at Charleston Southern the same night at 7 p.m.