Lady Chants’ rally bid falls shy in loss to Lady Paladins

ccuwhoops-1dribbleAfter falling behind as many as 13 points late in the first half, the Coastal Carolina women’s basketball team cut Furman’s lead to one three different times during the second half, but were unable to find the go-ahead basket as the Paladins held on for a 79-72 win in a Sunday matinee at The HTC Center.

The win improves Furman to 6-5 on the season, while Coastal falls to 5-4.

Coastal Carolina’s AJ Jordan led all scorers with 23 points, finishing 9-of-16 from the field despite opening the contest 0-for-5. The 20-point effort was her fifth of the season. Jordan was joined in double-figures by Karsen Sims’ career-high 17 points along with a 12-point performance by Megan Pittman and 11 from Angelica Henry. Katelyn Connor led all rebounders with 13, while Henry pulled down 11 for her second double-double of the campaign.

Holli Wilkins’ 21 points led five Paladins with 10-plus points in the scoring column. Sarah Durdaller, Brigid Morrissey and Whitney Bunn each scored 12, while Brittany Hodges added 10. Hodges also led Furman with 10 rebounds to finish the contest with a double-double.

The Chanticleers struggled from the floor for the majority of the first half as Furman took a nine-point lead into the intermission. However, Coastal opened the second half on a 10-2 run as a Pittman jumper at the 15:53 mark cut the Furman lead to a single point at 43-42. FU’s Durdaller countered with a bucket of her own before Jordan sank a pair at the free-throw line to again pull the Chants back to a one-point deficit.

Furman than took advantage of three empty Chanticleer possessions to regain an eight-point lead (52-44) with 13:46 showing on the scoreboard. Coastal countered with a 7-1 spurt as Jordan scored five and Kayla Cook knocked down her only field goal of the game to make it a one-possession game at 53-51 with 11:46 to play in regulation.

The sides traded baskets and free throws over the ensuing 5:21 leaving the score  61-59 in Furman’s favor at the 5:50 mark. A free throw by Sims pulled Coastal within one for a final time, but the Chants were unable to come away with a stop on the defensive end as Morrissey scored on a layup on Furman’s next possession.

Sims again made it a 73-70 game on a layup with 1:34 to play, but Furman’s Hodges and Bunn scored on back-to-back possessions to put the game out of reach.

After falling behind 8-2 to start the game, Coastal Carolina used a 7-0 run capped by a Henry 3-pointer to take a 9-8 lead. However, the lead would not hold as Furman’s Hodges converted an and-one on the Paladins next possession to regain the lead and spark a 16-3 run. A Sims triple from the wing slowed the visitors’ momentum and brought the Chants to within nine at 24-15.

Furman regained its composure and took a 38-26 lead on a Shianne Goodwin layup with 3:21 to play before the half. Jordan scored four of Coastal’s final five points of the half to cut the Paladins’ lead back to nine at 41-39.

For the game, Coastal hit on 37.1 percent of its field-goal attempts, while Furman shot just 45.3 percent. The Chanticleers owned a 51-41 rebounding advantage and made 16-of-23 free throws, compared to 15-of-24 for the Paladins. Furman held a commanding 22-4 advantage in points off the bench.

Coastal Carolina next takes on College of Charleston in its annual appearance in the Carolinas Challenge at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center on Wednesday. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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