The Coastal Carolina University womens basketball team (3-5) had a five-point lead with 10:38 left in the second half, but a 30-5 run by the University of South Carolina (5-6) at the end of the game gave the Gamecocks a 70-50 win Dec. 29 in the first round of the University of South Carolina Invitational in Columbia, S.C.
Coastal took a 7-4 lead at the 16:08 mark of the first half on a three from senior Courtney Brown (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch), but South Carolina took a three-point lead at 14:53 on an Ilona Burgrova layup. Coastal took a 19-16 lead on the Gamecocks at 7:03 on a three-point play from sophomore Vanessa Laug (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills). The game was tied as late at 3:36, but South Carolina went on a 7-2 run to end the half to take a 30-25 halftime lead.
Coastal was led in the first half by Brown, who had six points. Laug had five, while junior Amber Rose (Bloomington Springs, Tenn./Upperman) and junior Kim Turner (West Memphis, Ark./Hiwassee C.C.) had four apiece. Johnson ended the first half with 10 first-half points for the Gamecocks. Coastal shot 40.9 percent from the field and had seven steals. South Carolina was 13-of-28 (46.4 percent) from the floor.
Brown opened the second half with two straight threes to cut the Gamecock lead to 32-31. When junior Jasmine Tyler (Jacksonville, Fla./Okaloosa C.C.) connected on a fastbreak layup at 17:47, Coastal took a one-point lead. At 16:10, Turner hit a layup and was followed by a Tyler three to give Coastal a 40-36 lead. South Carolina tied the game at 40, but five straight points from Tyler gave Coastal the 45-40 lead. The Lady Chanticleers led as late at 8:18 on a Laug free throw at 8:18, but South Carolina took a double-digit lead on two Johnson free throws at 4:02. The Gamecocks went on a 9-0 run in the last 3:06 for the 20-point win.
Brown and Tyler led the Lady Chants with 12 points each, while Turner had four rebounds for the Lady Chants. Sophomore Alisha Dill (Johnson City, Tenn./Science Hill) had four assists. Johnson had 18 points, 18 rebounds, seven assists, five steals and four blocked shots for South Carolina, while Burgrova had 15 points, going 6-of-9 from the field.
Coastal shot 40 percent from the field and 5-of-15 from three-point range. The Lady Chants held South Carolina to just 3-of-17 from three-point range, but the Gamecocks outrebounded Coastal 39-26.
Coastal will play in the consolation of the USC Tournament Thursday, Dec. 30, at 5:30 p.m., against Campbell University.