Lady Chants hold off hard charge from Georgia State

ccuwhoops-10The Coastal Carolina women’s basketball team took a second-quarter lead and held off several late surges from Georgia State to take a 73-67 victory Saturday afternoon inside GSU Sports Arena.

Coastal (8-9, 3-4) was led by Jas Adams, who matched her career high in scoring with 23 points on 8-of-12 from the field, including five 3-pointers, and a pair of free throws. Kennedy Archer – who had a personal best of 19 points at Georgia Southern on Thursday night – added 18 points against the Panthers, including seven in the fourth quarter as Coastal worked to protect its lead.

Coastal shot 45.8 percent from the field, its highest team field goal shooting percentage against a Sun Belt opponent this season. The Chanticleer defense forced 26 Georgia State turnovers with 13 steals, resulting in 26 points off turnovers.

Georgia State’s leading scorer was Kierra Henry with 14 points, followed by Makeba Ponder with 12 points. Tiffany Holston led all players with 17 rebounds.

The game featured eight ties and 10 lead changes, with the last coming at the 5:39 mark of the fourth quarter.

A 7-0 Coastal run during the final minute of the first quarter allowed the Chants to carry a 20-18 lead into the second. The Panthers took an early lead after shooting 4-of-5 from 3-point range, but the Chanticleer defense forced nine turnovers that resulted in 12 CCU points.

Another late-quarter run for Coastal gave the Chants a 44-36 lead at the half. CCU outscored Georgia State 10-4 over the final three-and-a-half minutes of the second quarter, with five of those points coming from Adams. Adams had 13 points in the second quarter alone, and hit a 3-pointer in the first quarter to lead all players with 16 points at halftime.

Georgia State went on a 9-2 run over the first five minutes of the second half, and just a minute later tied the game for the first time since early in the second quarter. Adams broke the tie with a 3-pointer, and added a pair of free throws to account for five of Coastal’s 11 third-quarter points.

Coastal led 55-52 entering the fourth quarter, but Georgia State got a quick layup and free throw to even the game for the final time with 6:57 remaining. DJ Williams broke the tie with a layup, and Adams and Ced Gibson hit back-to-back jumpers to give the Chants a three-point cushion. Another GSU free throw brought the margin back to two points, but Archer’s 3-pointer made it a two-possession game. Archer then hit four straight free throws in the game’s final minute to seal the win.

Coastal returns to friendly confines of the HTC Center for a pair of Sun Belt contests on Thursday and Saturday against UT Arlington and Texas State, respectively. The Chants fell to both teams to start their conference schedule in late December.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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