Women's Hoops Falls In Big South Semifinals to High Point, 65-61
LYNCHBURG, Va. Leslie Cook scored eight of her game-high 19 points in the final six minutes to lead No. 2 seed High Point to a 65-61 win over No. 3 seed Coastal Carolina in game six of the 2006 Advance Auto Parts Womens Basketball Championship Friday night at the Vines Center in Lynchburg, Va. The Panthers will face No. 1 seed Liberty in the title game Saturday at 2:00pm ET on FSN South and CSN Mid-Atlantic. High Point improves 20-9, while Coastal finishes at 18-10.
The Lady Chanticleers jumped out to an11-3 lead five minutes into the game, but High Point rallied to make it 11-10 the two minutes later. CCU held onto a 16-14 lead at 11:59, only to see the Panthers tie it on Ayonna Thompsons lay-up at 11:45. High Point then moved ahead by four at 20-16, but Coastal came back to tie it at 20-20 at 8:29 on Amber Roses jumper and moved ahead 22-20 at the 7:33 mark. However, High Point regained the lead on Candyce Sellars trey and used a 13-2 run to over a 4:52 span to take a nine-point lead at 33-24, as well as the eventual 35-28 halftime lead.
The second half started with High Point holding onto its nine-point lead through the first three minutes. Coastal trimmed the deficit and regained the lead at 42-41 with 13:04 remaining when Alisha Dill hit a three-pointer. The game went back-and-forth for another four minutes before the Panthers moved ahead by five with 3:36 to go. But CCU would not go down so easily and kept pace behind Rose and Kim Turner. Turner brought Coastal to within two at 63-61 at 1:20, but Big South Player of the Year Katie ODell countered with a lay-up for the final margin.
Joining Cook in double figures was ODell with 13 and Sellars with 11 points. Dill posted 14 points to lead Coastal, while Turner grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds. High Point advances to the championship game for the second time ever and first since 2003, when the No. 3 seed Panthers lost to No. 1 seed Liberty. Saturdays game will be the first No. 1 vs. No. 2 womens championship game since 2001.
High Point Head Coach Tooey Loy: This was a tough game tonight. At this time in the season both teams really know each other well. You have to take your hat off to Coastal, they played a great game both offensively and defensively. The nature of our team this season has been that when we really need to we are able to generate offense when we need it.
Coastal Carolina Head Coach Alan LeForce: We dug ourselves in a hole in the first half. Normally were a good defensive team and I was concerned about our offense in the first half. In the second half we did a better job defensively and we missed some shots in the second half, which may have won it for us. We had a chance to win it late but couldnt get some key shots to fall. High Point was a better ball club tonight. .