Lady Chants dodge bullet at buzzer to outlast Radford

Coastal Carolina used another second half comeback to claim its third consecutive Big South victory. This time the Chanticleers rallied from an eight-point deficit to defeat Radford 52-51 in dramatic fashion on Saturday evening at The HTC Center.

Angelica Henry put the Chants up 52-50 as she made her second of two free throw attempts with 10.0 seconds showing on the clock. Radford’s Breshara Gordon brought the ball up the floor and drove the lane where she was fouled by Henry with 3.2 seconds left. Gordon made her first attempt at the line, but her second freebie bounced high off the back iron and was tipped out beyond the arc by a Highlander. Radford’s Ashley Buckhannon scooped the ball off the floor and heaved a desperation three that found nothing but nylon as time ran out.

However after a near four-minute official review, it was determined that time had expired before the ball left Buckhannon’s hand, leaving the Chants with the 52-51 victory.

The victory marked the first time since January 2010 that Coastal has won three straight Big South games. The Chanticleers, who will host the 2013 VisitMyrtleBeach.com Big South Basketball Championship in March, now own a 9-4 record on their home court after winning three of a four-game home stand.

Coastal (10-12, 5-7 Big South) was led by AJ Jordan’s 14 points on 7-of-11 from the field. Katelyn Connor racked up the Chants’ sixth double-double of the year with her 10-point, 10-rebound performance. Angelica Henry also chipped in 10 for the home team, including six from the charity stripe.

Radford (12-8, 7-4) was paced by Da’Naria Erwin Spencer’s 17 points, including 10 in the second half. Ayana Avery scored 10 and Victoria Hamilton led the Highlanders on the boards with nine rebounds.

Radford pulled out to an eight-point lead in the early moments on the second half. Shatia Cole made it a four-point game when she picked the pocket of a Highlander and raced down the court for an uncontested layup. Avery and Hamilton answered with four straight to put Radford back ahead by eight at 40-32. The Chants answered right back with Henry and Connor each scoring in the paint and Savanah Pippin hitting an 18-foot jumper to pull Coastal back within two just after the under-12 media timeout.

Coastal would go scoreless from the field over the ensuing 6:33 as Radford used baskets by Ema Reskova and Erwin Spencer along with a free throw from Buckhannon to take a 45-38 lead with 4:54 to play in regulation.

Jordan then converted a layup and Connor scored four points in the paint to cut Radford’s lead to 45-44 with 3:30 to play. Hamilton responded with a layup, but it would not be enough as Jordan scored four more points and Henry knocked down three at the line to give Coastal its largest lead of the game at 51-47. Avery followed with a deep trey with 17 second left, setting up the late-game drama.

Coastal and Radford exchanged buckets and free throws over the opening 11 minutes of the game, leading to Hamilton tying the score at 15 with nine to play before the half. Henry then converted a tip-in, but the Chants would go cold from the field over the next three-plus minutes as the Highlanders pulled out to a 24-17 lead.

Jordan scored six of her eight first-half points and Cole added three at the charity stripe over the remainder of the stanza to pull the Chants within three points at 29-26 heading into the locker rooms.

For the game, Coastal Carolina shot 35.1 percent (20-of-57) and totaled 47 rebounds to go along with nine steals. The Highlanders shot 33.9 percent (21-of-62) from the floor for the game and held a 26-22 advantage in points in the paint.

Coastal travels to UNC Asheville for a 2 p.m. tipoff on Saturday.

 

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