Lady Chants’ shooting goes cold in loss at UNC Asheville

A near six minute scoring drought coupled with a 17-0 UNC Asheville run in the second half gave the Coastal Carolina women’s basketball team a deficit it would not be able to overcome as the Chanticleers fell 69-60 in Asheville on Saturday.

The loss, Coastal’s first in Big South play and of 2012, sets the Chants back to 9-3 (2-1, Big South).  The win improves UNC Asheville to 5-9 on the season and 1-2 in the Big South.

Sophomore guard Angelica Henry led four Chanticleers in double-figures with a career-high tying 17 points as Shatia Cole, Olivia Irick and Courtney Grambley each poured in 10.  Asheville’s Lindsey Thompson led all scorers with 18 points and Leah Wormack recorded a double-double with 17 points and 10 boards.

The visiting Chants opened the second half on a 9-6 run to expand their one point halftime lead to four at 39-35 with 15:01 to play.  The run featured a Kira Carter three point shot, a Cole layup and two Henry layups on back-to-back possessions.

However, Coastal did not score over the next 5:54 and Asheville took full advantage with a 17-0 run to take a commanding 13 point lead with eight minutes to play.  The Bulldog’s Leah Wormack scored the first seven points of the Asheville streak as she made three layups in the paint and sank a free throw.  A pair of Lindsey Thompson treys bookended a Gentry Manley layup and Kelli Riles scored a fastbreak layup to cap the run.

As they had done in the previous two games, the Chants mounted a comeback scoring six unanswered over the ensuing 46 seconds.  A Riles foul sent Grambley to the line where she hit both attempts to start the Coastal points streak.  An 18-foot jumper by Taylor Epley and a six-footer by Olivia Irick cut the Asheville lead to seven at 52-45.

Three possessions later, Irick would sink her 14th three of the season to pull Coastal within six with 3:44 to play.  Asheville then reeled off seven straight to put the score at 63-50 with 1:08.  The Chants outscored UNCA 10-6 over the final minute to provide the final 69-60 score.

Coastal used its aggressive defensive pressure to hold Asheville to only three baskets through the first 11-plus minutes of first half action as the Chanticleers built a 13-7 advantage.  The Chants would use two free throws apiece from Grambley and AJ Jordan along with a trey by Henry to stretch the lead to 11 at 20-9 with 8:32 to play before intermission.

The Bulldogs countered with a 6-0 run, all coming at the foul line, to cut the Coastal lead to five with just under seven minutes to play.  Henry slowed the Asheville momentum with a pair of free throws and Cole knocked down a long range bomb to push the Chants lead back to 10.  However, the Bulldogs put together a 14-5 over the final five minutes of the half to cut the double-digit Chanticleer lead to one at 30-29 heading into the locker rooms.

The Bulldogs finished with a 40.7 shooting percentage to edge Coastal’s 32.3 percent.  The Chants outscored Asheville 27-10 off turnovers and 33-10 in bench points.  Asheville won the battle in the paint with a 39-18 margin.

The Chants remain on the road for the second game of their road trip as they face Gardner-Webb on Monday, Jan. 9 in Boiling Springs, N.C.  Tipoff against the Runnin’ Bulldogs is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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