Lady Chants come up short on the road to SC State

South Carolina State shot 48.6 percent in the first half and 42.2 percent for the game to hand Coastal its second loss in the three days by a final of 78-55 on Tuesday evening at the Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center in Orangeburg.

Coastal (6-4, 1-0 Big South) was paced by Kayla Cook’s season-high 14 points, including 10 straight in the second half, on 5-of-8 from the field and 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. Alexx Puckett posted Coastal’s fourth double-double of the season, finishing with 13 points and 11 boards. Katelyn Connor joined Cook and Puckett in double figures with 10 points.

SC State (8-2) also had three scored in double digits with Cabriel Duren leading the way with 15 points, while Kourtney Williams and Tiara Knotts chipped in 12 and 11 points, respectively.

The homestanding Bulldogs used an aggressive full-court pressure defense to force the Chanticleers into 19 turnovers. SC State scored 23 points off the Coastal errors, including several pull-up treys from Knotts.

SC State opened on an 18-10 run over the initial five minutes of the game with numerous baskets coming on fast-break layups following Coastal Carolina turnovers.  The Bulldogs then reeled off a 24-8 run over the next 10 minutes leading into the under-4 media timeout. During the run SC State knocked down a pair of threes and seven easy points from the charity stripe.

The final four minutes of the first half saw DJ Hunter sink a pair from the line and Puckett hit a jumper; however, the Bulldogs scored three from the free-throw line and sank two easy baskets in the paint to take a 49-22  lead into the intermission.

SC State shot 48.6 percent (18-of-37) from the field in the first half to post the highest single half percentage by a Chanticleer opponent this season. The Bulldogs also took advantage of their aggression to get into the lane, scoring 26 of their 34 total points in the paint in the first half.

The Chants refused to go away quietly in the second half, outscoring SC State 33-29 over the final 20 minutes of play. Coastal posted a 12-5 run over the initial seven minutes of the second stanza to cut the deficit to 20 points with 12:26 to play.  SC State responded with 17-6 run over the ensuing 4:07 to take their largest lead of the game at 71-40.

Cook then sank her two 3-pointers and Connor scored two baskets in the paint to draw the Chanticleers back to within 19 points. The Bulldogs followed by finishing the game on a 7-3 spurt to account for the 78-55 final score.

Coastal finished the game shooting 29.4 percent (20-of-68) from the field and 37.5 percent (6-of-16) from deep. SC State sank 27-of-64 shots for a 42.2 percentage.  The teams matched one another with 44 rebounds apiece.

Coastal Carolina takes on North Florida in its annual appearance in the Carolinas Challenge at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center on Wednesday. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.

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