Lady Chants look sharp on HTC Center opening night

Sophomore guard AJ Jordan scored 15 points, including 13 in the second half as she led Coastal Carolina to a 58-39 win over North Carolina Central in the inaugural women’s basketball game at The HTC Center on Monday night.

Jordan, who finished with career-highs in rebounds, steals and assists in the season opener at College of Charleston, nearly equaled her career-high of 18 points as she finished 7-of-14 from the field and 1-of-1 from the free-throw line.

Fellow sophomore Shatia Cole posted her first double-digit scoring effort of the season, finishing with 10 points on 3-of-7 from the field. Junior Katelyn Connor equaled her career-high with nine points.

Junior Kayla Cook opened The HTC Center in style with three from the left wing on the Chants’ first possession after Connor won the inaugural tip. Coastal would pull out to an 11-point lead at the under-8 media timeout as six different players found the bottom of the basket.

N.C. Central came within six of the Chants at 19-13 on an Amber Neely basket; however, Coastal responded with pair of baskets before the half to take a 23-16 lead into the locker rooms.

The Chants widened its margin to 30-16 over the opening stages of the second half as Connor and Alexx Puckett, who blocked a career-high four shots, combined for seven points. Jordan then scored six straight points over the ensuing four minutes to double up the Eagles on the scoreboard at 36-18 with less than 13 minutes remaining in the contest.

A five-point Eagle run narrowed the Chants’ margin to 36-23 at the under-12 media timeout. Cole and Connor would each sink a pair of free throws followed by a pair of layups by Jordan to push the Chants’ lead back to 16 points at 44-29 with 6:35 to play.

The Chants would finish the game on a 14-11 run to seal the inaugural win inside their new home. Coastal shot 38.2 percent (21-of-55) from the floor compared to only 29.4 percent (15-of-51) by N.C. Central. The Chants also won the battle on the boards 48-32.

Coastal returns to the court on Saturday, Nov. 17 as hosts the Catamounts of Western Carolina as part of football-basketball day-night doubleheader. Tipoff from The HTC Center is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

 

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