The Coastal Carolina University womens basketball team (5-2) went on a 23-0 run in the middle of the game and the Lady Chanticleers had a solid bench effort to defeat the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (4-6) 68-54 Dec. 31 in Conway, S.C. Coastal is now off to its best start since the 1999-2000 season.
Senior Kim Turner (West Memphis, Ark./Hiwassee C.C.) paced the Lady Chants early, scoring eight points in the first 2:05. Coastal then went up 14-7 at 16:35 on two free throws by junior Calisha Yates (Columbus, Ind./Chattanooga State C.C.). UNC Greensboro cut the lead to 20-19 at 9:45 on free throws by KaLeah Latham as Coastal had Turner, Yates and sophomore C.J. Ware (Decatur, Ga./Lakeside) on the bench with two fouls apiece. Coastal bumped the lead back to six with the help of the bench, as freshman Kairsten Nunn (Bowie, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt) hit two free throws at 7:44. The Spartans went on a mini 6-0 run to tie the game at 25, but Coastal would score the last 16 points of the half, punctuated by a three from senior Demaria Young (Memphis, Tenn./Walters State C.C.) at the buzzer.
Coastal shot 41.9 percent in the first half and was 4-of-9 from three-point range. Turner led the team with eight points, while senior Amber Rose (Bloomington Springs, Tenn./Upperman) and junior Alisha Dill (Johnson City, Tenn./Science Hill) had seven points apiece. The Coastal bench 17 first-half points, as senior Jasmine Tyler (Jacksonville, Fla./Okaloosa C.C.) and sophomore Joanna Pekonen (Lappenranta, Finland/Lafayette) had five points apiece.
For UNC Greensboro, Kristen Boone had six points and two assists in the first half.
Coastal kept the run going in the second half, scoring the first seven points, including a three from Rose. Irene Otamiri ended the run with a jumper at 15:43, as the Spartans went 10:18 without a point. The Coastal lead was as high as 24 points (53-29) on a Dill three at 15:07, but the Spartans would chip into the advantage. UNCG cut its deficit to 59-51 with 6:35 left on a Kemena Brooks layup, but Dill answered with another three at 5:02, and Coastal kept the lead in double digits throughout. Two Rose free throws and a Young layup solidified CCUs fifth win of the season and improved its home record to 3-0 on the year.
Rose led all scorers with 14 points. She also added three assists and two steals. Dill added 13 points, including three three-pointers, tied a career high with seven rebounds. Turner had 12 points and Yates added 10 as Coastal had four players in double figures for the second time this season.
UNCG was led by Boones 11 points and Meghan Chamberlain added eight.
Coastal shot 39.7 percent for the game and had nine three-pointers, a season high. Coastal also forced the Spartans into 24 turnovers.Coastal ended the game with 19 bench points and 12 bench rebounds.
"We have seven players that could start on this team," Coastal head coach Alan LeForce said. "Some players are capable of coming off the bench and giving us a spark. Jasmine and Demaria are two of those players that just come off the bench running...The kids on the team have good chemistry. It doesnt matter to them who starts, all they want to do is win basketball games.
Coastal will not have much time to rest as it hosts Savannah State University Monday, Jan. 2, at 7 p.m. The game can be heard on THE TEAM 93.9 FM in Myrtle Beach with the pregame show at 6:50 p.m.
NOTES: Coastal has now won two games in a row over the Spartans. CCU defeated UNCG 66-65 Dec. 3, 2003... The two teams had 38 rebounds apiece, including 15 offensive boards... The previous high for three pointers by Coastal was six, set three times this year... The 1999-2000 team started the year 6-2 and went 20-10 overall and 9-5 in the Big South... Coastal had 24 points off turnovers and 18 second chance points... Young had five points, five rebounds and five assists... Coastal had 17 total assists, tying its season high.