Lady Chants’ comeback bid falls short at Gardner-Webb

ccuwhoops-40The Chanticleers (7-5, 1-2) rallied to put together an impressive run in the later stages of the second half after trailing by as many as 21 points, but ultimately fell short as the Runnin’ Bulldogs (5-9, 1-4) took an 82-75 victory Saturday afternoon at Gardner-Webb’s Paul Porter Arena.

The loss is the third straight for the Chanticleers, and second to a Big South opponent. Gardner-Webb, meanwhile, ended a three-game skid with the win and claimed its first conference victory of the season.

The Runnin’ Bulldogs used nine 3-pointers in the first half to build an early lead, and then shot 44.4 percent from the field while making 11 of 14 free throw attempts in the second half to maintain the advantage.

The Chants used a 22-12 run from 9:01-2:05 of the second half to cut Gardner-Webb’s lead to 73-68, but that was the closest Coastal would come as the Bulldogs hit six free throws and a 3-pointer to finish off the game.

Gardner-Webb had five players score in double digits, led by a game-leading 20 points from Olivia Parker. Parker finished 8-12 from the field, knocking down two 3-pointers and converting both of her free throw attempts. She also tied Jessica Heilig for the team lead in rebounds with five.

The Chants were led by Anna Vogt’s fifth double-double of the season. The junior forward had 19 points, and led Coastal with 13 rebounds. AJ Jordan finished as Coastal’s second-leading scorer with 16 points, 11 of which came in the opening half. Ced Gibson tallied 13 points, and led the Chants with three assists and three steals.

The two sides shot evenly for the game, though Gardner-Webb did hold a slight advantage shooting 48.0 percent to Coastal’s 46.7 percent. Coastal out-rebounded its opponent for the 11th time this year, winning the battle on the boards 37-27. It was, however, the first game this season that the Chants finished with fewer than 40 rebounds.

Vogt and Jordan combined for Coastal’s first 11 points of the game, bringing the Chants within two after GWU jumped out to an early 13-6 lead. The Chants then took their first lead of the game with just over nine minutes remaining in the first half after Stephanie Isaacs hit a 3-pointer to put Coastal up 23-22. The lead lasted for just over a minute, however, as a 3-pointer from Tierra Huntsman just a few possessions later gave Gardner-Webb the lead for the remainder of the contest.

Along with GWU’s 3-point shooting, the Chants turned the ball over 14 times in the first half, leading to a 46-33 Bulldog lead going into the break. In the second half, it was Gardner-Webb’s turnovers that led to Coastal’s rally and a close finish. For the game, Coastal finished with 26 turnovers while GWU gave the ball away 19 times.

The Chants head directly from Boiling Springs to Farmville, Va., where they face the Longwood Lancers at 7 p.m. on Monday. Longwood was also in action on Saturday, falling 65-58 to Campbell to drop their record to 1-13 overall, 1-4 in conference play.

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