CONWAY, S.C.-UNC Asheville (15-10, 7-5 BSC) outscored the Coastal Carolina University womens basketball team (9-15, 4-8 BSC) 31-16 in the second half to storm back and escape Kimbel Arena with a 52-48 victory over the Lady Chanticleers on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 26.
Coastal played well in the first half as senior forward Courtney Brown (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch) opened the game and Senior Day by knocking down a three on the first possession. A layup by junior guard Amber Rose (Bloomington Springs, Tenn./Upperman), seeing her first game action since an injury at Winthrop sidelined her a month ago, gave CCU an early 15-10 lead. Another three by Brown made the 22-14. A six point run by UNCA keyed by freshman Stacy Shepard put the Bulldogs back in the game at 24-20. Coastals senior forward Lucia Popovici (Edmonton, Alberta/Jasper Place) layup stopped the run and gave CCU a 26-21 lead. Rose continued the run by closing out the half by knocking down consecutive threes to give the Lady Chanticleers a 32-21 lead going into the intermission.
Rose made a huge impact in the first half of her first game back, as she tallied first half high eight points. Coastal shot well in the first half going14-for-29 including 4-for-9 from beyond the arc as CCU scored 18 points on 16 first half Bulldogs turnovers.
The game tightened up quickly in the second half as UNC Asheville open the second half on an 8-2 run to get to within a three of tying the game, 34-31. A three point play by sophomore Alisha Dill (Johnson City, Tenn./Science Hill) gave a the Lady Chanticleers a 37-31 advantage. But the momentum was short lived as the Bulldogs had a six point spurt of their own to take their first lead of the game 40-39. Another Rose three pointer at the 4:38 mark of the second half would give Coastal its last lead of the game, 46-44. But Shepard would answer again with a layup to tie the game and knock down two free throws to give Asheville the lead 48-46.
A jumper by junior Kim Turner (West Memphis, Ark./West Memphis (Hiwassee)) would tie the game at 48 with 58 seconds left in the contest. The Bulldogs sophomore forward Amanda Elder made a layup with 31 seconds left to untie the score. A Coastal turnover on the ensuing possession and two made free throws by Elder would ice the game as UNC Asheville held on for a thrilling 52-48 victory.
Dill led Coastal with 13 points, while Rose chipped in with 11. UNCAs Sheppard led all scorers with 17 points, while the Bulldogs Andrea Clapp and Elder pulled down a game high seven rebounds.
Coastal Carolina takes to the road next as it travels to Birmingham, Ala., to take on Birmingham-Southern at 8 p.m. on March 2. The Bulldogs next play against Charleston Southern, Feb. 28. at 7 p.m.