Junior Alisha Dill (Johnson City, Tenn./Science Hill) had a career high 21 points and the Coastal Carolina University womens basketball team (3-1) answered every Furman University (2-3) run as the Lady Chanticleers defeated the Lady Paladins 71-67 Dec. 3 in Conway, S.C.
Furman never led in the game, but the Lady Paladins cut a double-digit second half to a 64-64 tie with 1:32 left. Coastal came back on offense and had two Dill free throws to put CCU up two. Furmans Chrissy Phelps had her jumper with 53 seconds left blocked by Dill, but a Lady Chant turnover gave the ball back to the Lady Paladins. Furman then missed two jump shot and was called for a shot-clock violation with 19 seconds left. Senior Amber Rose (Bloomington Springs, Tenn./Upperman) then calmly hit two free throws at the 15-second mark for a 68-64 lead. Furman gave the ball back to Coastal with 11 seconds left on a turnover. Senior Kim Turner (West Memphis, Ark./Hiwassee C.C.) hit 1-of-2 free throws, but Tommi Paris hit a three with five seconds left to cut it to one possession. Coastal was able to get the ball in bounds and in Dills hands. She made both free throws and Coastal had the four-point victory.
The Lady Chants opened the game on a three from Rose and a layup from junior Calisha Yates (Columbus, Ind./Chattanooga State C.C.). Another Yates layup at 15:50 gave CCU a 10-5 lead. Furman tied the game twice in the first half, but a 17-6 run in a matter of 7:14 gave CCU a 29-18 lead with 5:05 left. The lead would grow to 33-21 on a layup from senior Jasmine Tyler (Jacksonville, Fla./Oklaoosa C.C.) at 2:17.
Yates led CCU with 10 points and seven rebounds in the first half. The Lady Chants also had a 26-13 rebounding edge in the first 20 minutes. Furmans Jessica Lange had 10 points in the first half, while the Lady Paladins shot 42.9 percent from the field.
A Rose layup at 19:42 gave Coastal its second 12-point lead of the game, but a 13-3 run by Furman cut the lead to three at 14:49. That run was capped by a Lange layup. CCU swelled the lead to 10 points (50-40) at 10:29 on free throws by Yates, but Furman had an 8-0 run to make it 50-48 at 7:20. Coastal would answer that run and take a 62-53 lead at 4:15 on free throws by Dill. Furman would outscore Coastal 11-2 in the next 2:43 to tie the game at 64.
Dill went 8-of-10 from the free-throw line and beat her career high in points, which was 16 at High Point Feb. 15, 2005. Yates added 15 points, nine rebounds and was 4-of-4 from the line. Turner was the third Lady Chant in double figures, scoring 12 points and adding eight boards and four steals.
"I felt this was one of our most complete games on both ends of the floor," Coastal head coach Alan LeForce said. "Alisha played her best game since shes been here. We shot free throws pretty well at 73 percent and we shot them well especially down the stretch in crucial sitations. I felt our kids prepared very well the last few days in practice."
Furman was led by Lange, who went 9-of-10 from the field, had 18 points and three assists. Tommi Paris and Chrissy Phelps had 13 and 10 points, respectively.
Coastal was 17-of-21 from the free-throw line in the second half and outrebounded Furman 36-31. Coastal also had 28 second chance points and 30 points off turnovers.
Coastal will take a break for finals and return Saturday, Dec. 17, to face seventh-ranked North Carolina. Game time is at 2 p.m., in Chapel Hill and can be heard on THE TEAM 93.9 FM.
NOTES: Coastal forced the Lady Paladins into 27 turnovers and are now averaging 27.3 forced turnovers a game... Yates was one point off her career high... Coastal won only its second game in 16 tries against the Lady Paladins... Coastal went 9-for-10 from the line in the last five minutes.