ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Despite leading for most of the first 15 minutes of play, the Coastal Carolina women's basketball team (11-13, 5-7 Big South) fell on the road to UNC Asheville (17-8, 7-5 Big South), 68-41, Saturday at the Justice Center in Asheville, N.C.
The Lady Chants either led or were tied with UNCA for the majority of the first half, and led by as much as five at the 11-minute mark. But the Bulldogs chipped away and finally overcame CCU, 20-19, with 4:37 in the first and never looked back, building the lead to nine, 30-21, at halftime. Much of the margin was a result of free throws, with Kristal Hood hitting on 6-of-6 over the last 1:50.
UNCA continued to increase the margin in the second half, and was up by 20, 47-27, with 11 minutes left to play. After that point, the closest CCU would come was a 17-point deficit at the 5:05 mark, 56-39, on a jumper from senior Temecca Barnes (Malone, Fla./Chipola JC), which would be the Lady Chants' last field goal of the game.
The Bulldogs outshot and outrebounded Coastal, hitting 24-of-50 from the field for 48.0 percent and doubling CCU's rebounds, 46-23. UNCA also shot well at the charity stripe, going 18-of-23, led by Hood, who only missed one of her 13 attempts. Coastal was 15-of-55 from the floor and shot 63.6 percent at the free throw line on 7-of-11 shooting.
Senior Cyndie Troutman (Hampton, Tenn./Walters State CC) led Coastal with 10 points, and Barnes pulled down six rebounds. For Asheville, Hood registered a double-double, leading all scorers with 22 points and 10 boards. Tonisha Jackson was also in double figures with 19 points and nine rebounds, as was Andrea Clapp, adding 12 points.
Coastal forced 23 UNCA turnovers while committing 17 of their own, and tallied 10 steals, with Barnes and senior Whitney Shearer (Monticello, Ky./Wayne County) grabbing four apiece. The Bulldogs capitalized on CCU's turnovers, though, scoring 25 points off turnovers. UNCA also dominated inside, tallying 22 points in the paint versus Coastal's four.
Next up for the Lady Chants is a two-game homestand to close out the regular season, beginning with Birmingham-Southern Monday, March 1, at 7 p.m.