SAVANNAH, Ga. The Coastal Carolina University womens basketball team (13-8) fell to Savannah State (9-15) 66-62 Feb. 5 in Savannah, Ga., in a non-conference affair. Coastal lost despite 32 points from senior Alisha Dill (Johnson City, Tenn./Science Hill), who was one point shy of her career high.
For the second straight game, Coastal had a sluggish start, falling behind 13-2 with 13:56 left. Coastal went on a 6-0 run, capped by senior Kristy Yurichaks (Walton Hills, Ohio/Lakeland C.C.) jumper with 12:01 remaining, but Savannah State answered with a 6-0 run of its own, as a Shamice James jumper at 9:48 made it 19-8 SSU. Coastal then went on a 10-0 run in the next 3:08, as a layup from freshman Devin Rivers (Miami, Fla./Felix Varela) at 4:17 drew the Lady Chanticleers a bucket away from a tie. Freshman Lacey Lyons (Beverly Hills, Fla./Crystal River) hit a three at 3:44 to cut the Tiger lead to 25-24, but Savannah State ended the half on a 7-2 run to take a 32-26 lead at the break.
Lyons led the Lady Chanticleers with eight points, including two three pointers. Dill added six points and four assists. Junior Victoria Blanchard (Eutawville, S.C./Walters State) had five rebounds to lead CCU. The Lady Chants shot 30.3 percent from the field, compared to 65 percent for the TIgers. Savannah States Ivy Smith led all scorers with 11 points in the first half.
Jumpers from Dill and Lyons cut the Savannah State lead to two, but a 9-3 run by the Tigers was capped by an Amber
West jumpshot at 14:41, giving SSU a 41-33 lead. Dill then had five straight points and a Lyons jumper at 12:12 cut the lead to 41-40. Shaunte Carter hit 1-of-2 free throws at the other end, but Dill came back with an old-fashion three-point play, giving Coastal its first lead of the game at 43-42. Coastal boosted the lead to 49-43 with 8:34 left on a Dill jumper. Coastal had another six-point lead with 7:14 left on a free throw from junior C.J. Ware (Decatur, Ga./Lakeside), but Savannah State would tie the game with 4:55 left on two Ivy Smith free throws. Dill came back on the next possession with a layup to give Coastal its last lead of the game at 4:41. LaShara Smith tied the game at 53 on a layup with 4:31 left. Carter gave the Tigers a 55-53 lead on two free throws. Dill tied the game with a layup at 3:51, but Smith hit two more free throws for a 57-55 Savannah lead. LaShara Smith gave SSU a five-point lead with 2:20 left on a conventional three-point play. Dill answered with a three-point play of her own at 2:03. Dills three at 1:32 and a free throw with one minute left tied the game at 62. Rivers grabbed the rebound off Dills miss, but a turnover gave the ball back to Savannah State. LaShara Smith hit what would prove to be the game winner on a jumper with 25 seconds left. Coastal committed another turnover and Ivy Smith iced the game with two free throws as Coastal lost its second straight road contest.
Dill went 10-of-24 from the field and was 9-of-12 from the free-throw line. She had five rebounds, five assists but 10 turnovers. Lyons was Coastals other player in double figures with 12 points. Senior Calisha Yates (Columbus, Ind./Chattanooga State C.C.) and Rivers had eight rebounds apiece.
Coastal shot 36.1 percent from the floor and were just 5-of-22 from three-point range. Savannah State ended the game shooting 50 percent from the floor and 22-of-25 from the free-throw line.
Ivy Smith had 21 points to lead the Tigers. Savannah State had four players in double figures in scoring.
Coastal returns to Kimbel Arena Saturday, Feb. 10, as the Lady Chanticleers host UNC Asheville. Game time is at 2 p.m.