MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. The Coastal Carolina University womens basketball team (6-4) defeated UNC Wilmington (4-6) 66-59 in game one of the Crescent Bank Carolinas Challenge Dec. 20 at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. Coastal never trailed in the game, but the Lady Chanticleers hung on after UNCW trimmed the lead to one with 1:20 remaining.
The game was tied five times in the first half, before the Chants took the lead for good with two free throws from senior Alisha Dill (Johnson City, Tenn./Science Hill) at 8:52. A jumper from freshman Amanda Stull (Rushville, Ind./Rushville Consolidated) and two more free throws by Dill extended the lead to 19-13 CCU. Coastal built its first double-digit lead at 4:13 on a Dill jumper. A Denise Lawrence layup at 3:05 cut the lead to 28-22, but a three from freshman Lacey Lyons (Beverly Hills, Fla./Crystal River) and a free throw from senior Vanessa Laug (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) bumped it back to 10. Dill ended her 23 point first half with a jumper at 1:56 and Coastal took a 34-26 lead to the locker room.
Dill was 7-of-15 from the field, 2-of-3 from three-point range and 7-of-8 from the free-throw line in the first half. She also had five rebounds, two assists and a steal. Lyons and Laug had three points apiece for the Lady Chants. Alex Stewart and Lawrence had eight points apeice for UNCW.
Freshman Devin Rivers (Miami, Fla./Felix Varela) opened the half with a jumper at 19:39 and the lead stretched to 11 (43-32) on a Lyons three at 16:20. A three-point play from Sahsha Taylor at 12:48 cut the lead to seven, but Coastal then went on a 6-0 run, capped by two Lyons free throws at 9:41. That is where the Seahawks started their comeback. A Lori Drake layup at 8:37 made it 50-41 Coastal. Drake then hit a three at 7:59 to cut the lead to six. Stewart made a jumper and Drake had another three-point play to make it 50-49 with 6:19 left. Lyons stopped the bleeding with a three at 6:19, but Wilmington would score the next possession on a Stewart layup. Rivers hit a big shot at 5:08 to make it 55-51 Coastal. Stull then kept it at four with a jumper at 4:16. Dill scored her first points of the second half at 2:37 to build a five-point lead, but four UNCW free throws made it 59-58 with 1:20 left. Dill was fouled with a minute left and hit both tries from the line. Lawrence missed a three pointer with 36 seconds left and on the next possession, Shade Smith intentionally fouled Stull. Stull missed both free throws, but Dill made her pair with 24 ticks left for a 63-58 lead. Junior C.J. Ware (Decatur, Ga./Lakeside) hit 3-of-4 free throws at the end of the game and Coastal earned its sixth win of the season.
Dill ended the game with 29 points and moved to 10th place on Coastals all-time scoring list. She passed Tina Boester and now has 928 career points. Dill also had four assists and two steals. Lyons also was in double figures for CCU with 14 points, going 3-of-8 from three-point range. Coastal shot 41.2 percent from the floor and hit 19 free throws.
UNCW was led by Stewarts 18 points and nine rebounds. Drake added 14 points, all in the second half, and seven boards. Lawrence was the Seahawks third player in double figures with 10 points. Smith added seven rebounds.
Coastal take the holiday break off before returning to the court Sunday, Dec. 31 against Converse. Tip off is at 2 p.m., at Kimbel Arena.