ROANOKE, VA Nikki Reddick poured in 27 points as seventh-seeded Coastal Carolina upset second-seeded Elon 66-64 in first-round action of the 2002 Advance Auto Parts Big South Conference Women's Basketball Championship Thursday night at the Roanoke Civic Center. The victory puts Coastal in the semifinals for the third time in four years and gives Head Coach Alan LeForce a great 67th birthday present.
Reddick canned 11 of her 22 field goal attempts, including three of six treys. The First Team All-Big South guard also pulled down eight rebounds, dished out a game-high seven assists and blocked two shots.
The Chanticleers (10-17) displayed tenacious defense that held Elon (15-13), last year's tournament runner-up, to uncharacteristic 36.7-percent shooting from the field while forcing Big South Player of the Year Holly Andrews into 8-for-19 marksmanship.
The Phoenix soared to an early 17-4 advantage with 11:43 to play in the first half, but Coastal Carolina charged back with a 19-4 tear to claim its first lead at 23-21 with 3:22 left in the opening stanza. It would be a lead that the Chanticleers would never relinquish.
Coastal Carolina eventually stretched its advantage to 56-49 with 6:48 remaining and held off a furious Elon rally in which the Phoenix outscored the Chanticleers 15-10 down the stretch, capped by a Jayme Chikos three-point bomb from 75-feet away as the buzzer sounded.
Reddick received helped from teammate Crystal Brown (eight points, game-high 10 rebounds) while Elon was paced by Andrews (20 points) and Courtney Nyborg (10 points, seven rebounds).
Coastal Carolina lost the battle of the boards 41-38, but out-performed the Phoenix in field goal percentage (45.8-36.7), assists (13-6) and steals (9-7). Elon outdueled the Chants in free throw percentage (65.2-50.0) and turnovers (13-14).
CCU will now await Friday's 2 p.m. semifinal contest to face the winner of tonight's matchup of third-seeded Radford and sixth-seeded Winthrop.