Lady Chanticleers can’t stop red-hot Gardner-Webb

Gardner-Webb got to the foul line 51 times and shot a season-high 62.5 percent from beyond the arc, on its way to a 73-63 win over Coastal Carolina on Monday evening at the Runnin’  Bulldogs’ Paul Porter Arena.

Gardner-Webb improves to 2-12 on the season and 1-3 in the Big South with the win as the setback drops Coastal to 9-4 overall and 2-2 in conference play.

Gardner-Webb entered the contest shooting 32.9 percent from the field, including 24.0 from three, and 54.1 from the charity stripe, but the Runnin’ Bulldogs proceeded to blow out each of those season averages with a 38.3 shooting percentage, a 62.5 make rate from deep and a 62.7 percentage (32-51) from the line.

Chanticleer senior guard Olivia Irick led all scorers with 19 points, including a career-high tying four triples.  Taylor Epley also finished in double-figure with 10 points and a team-high eight rebounds.  Gardner-Webb was paced by Mayhana Dunovant’s 17 points on 5-of-7 from the field, 3-of-3 from three and 4-of-6 from the free-throw line.  Jasmine Dale, Kiki Smith and Catrina Green also scored in double-digits with 16, 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Gardner-Webb opened the contest a perfect 4-of-4 from the field on its way to a 10-0 lead before Irick put the Chanticleers on the board with a deep trey at the 16:23 mark.  The Runnin’ Bulldogs then reeled off three straight from the charity stripe as the Chants were booked with a technical and a personal foul on the same possession to push their lead to 13-3.  The teams exchanged shots over the next ten minutes of play as Gardner-Webb maintained its ten point edge.

Irick’s third triple of the game pulled the Chants within seven at 31-24 with 5:11 remaining before the half.  Jordan scored five of Coastal’s final six points of the stanza to trim the Runnin’ Bulldog lead to six with 2:40 to play; however, Gardner-Webb put together a 5-0 run to end the half and take a 41-30 lead into the locker room.

The Runnin’ Bulldogs opened the second on tear that included a 15-8 run to pull out to its largest lead of the game at 56-38 with 10:43 remaining.  The run saw five points come at the charity stripe before back-to-back Dunovant three capped the scoring streak.  An Irick jumper and freebie along with an Angelica Henry layup slowed the home team’s momentum which sparked a Chanticleer run over the ensuing 7:31.

During the stretch, Coastal would outscore Gardner-Webb 18-9 and close its deficit to nine on a pair of Henry free throws with 2:04 remaining in regulation.  However, the Runnin’ Bulldogs would outscore the Chanticleer 8-7, all at the free-throw line, to secure their second victory of the season.

Coastal outscored Gardner-Webb 28-22 in the paint and 18-10 off turnovers, but the Runnin’ Bulldogs held the advantage in bench, second chance, and fastbreak points.

 Coastal returns to the hardwood of Kimbel Arena for a two game homestand starting on Saturday, Jan. 14, to take on rival Liberty.  The game, which is the first of a doubleheader with the men’s squad, is slated to tip off at 2 p.m.

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