Lady Chants lose regular season finale at Winthrop

After only scoring 54 points in the teams’ first meeting in Conway, Winthrop scored 44 first half points on its way to a  84-47 win over Coastal Carolina on Monday evening in Rock Hill.

With the loss the Chanticleers finish the regular season with a 13-14 overall record and 6-12 tally in Big South play. Winthrop closes its regular season with an 18-12 (12-6 Big South) mark.

For the game Winthrop, the Big South’s second leading 3-point shooting team, shot 12-of-29 (41.4 percent) from long range on its way to a 37.7 percentage (29-of-77) from the floor. The Chanticleers closed the game shooting 19-of-65 (29.2 percent).

Sophomore Katelyn Connor paced Coastal in the scoring column with a career-high nine points as classmate Kayla Cook led the Chants in rebounding for the second straight game with eight caroms. Samiya Wright led a trio of Eagles in double-figures with 30 points followed by Dequesha McClanahan with 23 and Diana Choibekova’s 16.

Coastal and Winthrop traded baskets during the opening minutes of the half with the Eagles taking a slim 8-6 advantage into the under 16 minute media timeout.  The Eagles then reeled off a 27-6 run, which included a 4-of-6 mark from beyond the arc to take a commanding 35-12 lead at the 6:54 mark of the first half.

Winthrop would to extend its lead to 26 on a pair of free throws by TaQuoia Hammick before a 15-foot jumper by Taylor Epley and two freebies by Kayla Cook cut the Chants deficit to 22. However, Winthrop’s Tiffany Charles would take the inbound pass, go the length of the floor and convert a layup with 31 second left in the half to give the Eagles a 44-20 advantage heading to the locker rooms.

Winthrop picked up where it left off in the opening 10 minutes of the second half as the Eagles connected on five treys to push its lead out to as many as 34 points with 11:53 to play in regulation.

Two AJ Jordan baskets bookended an Olivia Irick 3-pointer as Coastal slowed the Eagles’ momentum with a 7-0 run of its own. However, Winthrop would score 12 of the next 14 points on its way to an 18-8 game-ending run.

Coastal Carolina now turns its attention to the Big South Tournament held at High Point’s Millis Center. The Chanticleers are the No. 7 seed in the tournament and will play No. 2 seed High Point at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, March 9.

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