HIGH POINT, N.C. - Nikki Reddick poured in 33 points to lead sixth-seeded Coastal Carolina to a 68-62 win over third-seeded High Point in the first round of the 2004 Advance Auto Parts Big South Womens Basketball Tournament Tuesday night at the Millis Center.
The Lady Chants (13-13) advance to face No. 7 seed Birmingham-Southern (a 56-49 upset winner at second seed UNC Asheville) in a semifinal game Thursday night at 7:00 pm at Kimbel Arena in Conway, S.C.
Cyndie Troutman chipped in 18 points for the victorious Lady Chants, who advanced to the semifinals for the third-straight year. High Point, which made the championship game last season, finishes the 2003-04 campaign with a 14-14 mark.
Charlena Martin (14 points) led a pack of four HPU players in double-figures, including Kate Jenner (who had 13 points and 15 rebounds for a double-double), Katie O'Dell (12 points) and Katie Ralls (10 points).
The Lady Chants never trailed, and used a 6-0 run to take a 25-19 lead on two Reddick free throws at the 7:08 mark of the first half. CCU shot 48 percent in the first half and took a 37-31 advantage to intermission.
Coastal built a 10-point lead early in the second half when Reddick nailed one of her seven three-point baskets to give the Lady Chants a 47-37 advantage. CCU led by as many as 14 points (at 58-44 with 9:28 to go) before the Panthers made a charge and scored 18 of the next 24 points to get within 64-62 with 38.0 seconds left on a layup by ODell.
The Panthers were forced to foul Reddick, who missed the front end of the one-and-one. ODell pulled down the rebound for HPU, only to throw it directly to Reddick, who was fouled again and this time hit a pair of free throws with 22.0 seconds left to make it a four-point game at 66-62. High Point missed two shots on the ensuing trip downcourt, and Coastals Whitney Shearer corralled the rebound, was fouled and made two foul shots for the 68-62 final.
Reddick and Troutman each had a team-high seven rebounds for the Lady Chants, and Reddick added four steals and three assists. ODell tallied nine rebounds to narrowly miss a double-double.
"We got down 14 points, but we didnt quit," High Point head coach Tooey Loy said. "Thats been the story of this team all year. We battled back and were down two points with the ball, but had a tough turnover, and [Martin] had to foul to stop the clock and fouled out.
We started this year thinking we were going to win 22 or 23 games, but we lost three players all probable starters right at the start of the year. But this is a season Im proud of. We played three-fourths of the season with nine scholarship players and still finished third in the conference. We battled every night, and weve got everybody back for next year. We cant wait.