CONWAY, S.C.- After trailing the visiting Eagles by three at the intermission, the Coastal womens basketball team went on an 11-0 run to open the second half and never looked back, picking up a win for its five seniors, 67-52.
Both teams struggled offensively in the first half with Coastal shooting only 20.6 percent from the floor and Winthrop shooting 28 percent. Coastal took the early advantage, going up by five with 17:47 left in the half but the Lady Eagles had five blocks, two from Ashley Fann, to take the lead and go up by five with 2:10 left before entering the locker-rooms with a score of 20-17.
The Lady Chanticleers were led by senior Alisha Dill (Johnson City, Tenn./Science Hill) who had nine points with five rebounds in the first half. As a team, Coastal pulled down 24 rebounds (12 offensive, 12 defensive) and had five steals.
The Lady Eagles were lead offensively by Yvonne Van Daalen and Tiffany Rodd who each had eight points and defensively by Shelly Hankins who pulled down five boards. Winthrop grabbed 22 rebounds as a team and had eight turnovers.
Coastal excelled in both offense and defensive after head coach Alan LeForce gave his half-time talk in the locker room. The Lady Chanticleers opened the second have scoring 11 unanswered points in the first three minutes and allowing Winthrop only six in the first 11 minutes of play. Coastal took advantage of the 22 Lady Eagle turnovers to score 27 points. The Lady Chanticleers looked toward their senior leadership to change the pace of the game as they shot 53.6 percent from the field. Dill exploded in the second half scoring 22 points while fellow senior Vanessa Laug (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) chipped in nine.
The Lady Chants were lead by Dill, who ended the night one away from her career-high, with 32 points. Dill also was a perfect 12-for-12 from the foul line and grabbed five rebounds. Laug finished the night with ten points and six rebounds while junior Victoria Blanchard (Eutawville, S.C./Holly Hill-Roberts (Walters State C.C.)) added eight points with nine boards. The remaining three seniors all had an impact in the win, Calisha Yates (Columbus, Ind./East (Chattanooga State C.C.)) had five points and four rebounds. Kristy Yurichak (Walton Hills, Ohio/St. Peter Chanel (Lakeland C.C.)) pulled down two defensive rebounds and Heather Hummel (Franklin, Pa./Rocky Grove (Slippery Rock)) swished two foul shots. As a team, Coastal ended with a 77.8 free throw percentage, shooting just 35.5 percent from the field. The Lady Chanticleers picked off 12 steals and pulled in 36 rebounds (19 offensive, 17 defensive).
Winthrop had three players with double-digits on the night with Van Daalen leading the Lady Eagle offensive effort with 14 points. Rodd ended with 13 while Fann chipped in 12 points and eight rebounds. The Lady Eagles had a 40.8 shooting percentage from the floor and turned the ball over 22 times. Three Winthrop players had two blocks apiece, Fann, Hankins and Ashley Haugtvedt, with the team having seven total.
Coastal improves to 17-10 overall, 8-5 in the Big South while Winthrop falls to 5-24, 2-11. The Lady Chanticleers will travel to Charleston Southern on Saturday for a 5 p.m. tip-off to end regular season play. Winthrop ends on the road at High Point on Saturday for a 7 p.m. tip-off. Both teams will look to pick up one more win to give them the higher seed in the Big South Conference tournament which begins on Thursday, March 8 in Asheville, N.C.