Blanchard, Stull Have Career Highs but Women's Basketball Falls to UNC Asheville 63-54
Senior Vicky Blanchard (Eutawville, S.C./Holly Hill-Roberts) had a double-double with 19 points and 15 rebounds while sophomore Amanda Stull (Rushville, Ind./Rushville Consolidated) had a career high 16 points, but a 13-2 run by UNC Asheville (10-9, 1-1 Big South) midway through the second half propelled the Bulldogs to a 63-54 win over the Coastal Carolina University women’s basketball team (11-6, 0-3 Big South) Jan. 26 in a game televised by SportSouth.
Blanchard had a career high in rebounds and a season high in points. She was 9-of-20 from the floor and added four assists and five steals. Stull was 7-of-11 from the floor and also had four assists.
Asheville got off to a fast start, taking a 12-2 lead at 16:32 on an Ashton Barton three-pointer. The Bulldogs were up 16-4, before a 6-0 run by Coastal ended on two free throws from sophomore Devin Rivers (Miami, Fla./Felix Varela) at 11:17 cut the lead to six. At 8:53, a jumper from freshman Sydnei Moss (North Augusta, S.C./North Augusta) cut the Asheville lead to 18-14, but the Asheville advantage would swell to 24-14 at the seven-minute mark on a jumper from Jessica Monroe. Coastal would go on another run, this time a 10-1 advantage, with six points from Blanchard and four from Stull. A Barton three with 43 seconds left gave the Bulldogs a four-point halftime lead.
Blanchard already had a double-double at the half, scoring 11 points and adding 10 rebounds. Stull had eight points on 4-of-4 shooting. Barton had nine points for Asheville. Coastal was 11-of-35 (31.4 percent) from the floor, while Asheville shot 35.7 percent from the floor.
The game would be tied four times in the first eight minutes of the second half. A Barton three at 13:53 gave the Bulldogs a three-point lead, but a jumper from senior Joanna Pekonen (Lappeenranta, Finland/Makelanrinne) and two free throws from Stull gave Coastal a 36-35 lead at 12:39. Asheville would score the next four points on jumpers from Stacy Shepard and Ana Baker, but Stull would answer with a layup at 10:02. The Bulldogs then went on a 9-0 run over the next 4:45. Barton had two free throws and Arescia Moore hit a big three at 9:14 for a 44-38 lead. Four straight points from Kendall Shepard gave the Bulldogs a 48-38 lead at 7:17. Coastal would cut the lead to eight on two occasions, but would get no closer as the Bulldogs used free throws in the final minute to ice their first Big South win.
Coastal shot 33.3 percent for the game and were just 2-of-10 from the three-point line. Asheville went 46.2 percent from the floor in the second half and 40.7 percent in the game. Coastal forced Asheville into 19 turnovers, but the Bulldogs outrebounded the Lady Chants 48-37.
Rivers had 10 rebounds for Coastal. For Asheville, Barton had 19 points, while Kendall Shepard had 15 points and Stacy Shepard had a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
Coastal is at Winthrop Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m., in Rock Hill, S.C.