Lady Chants sink late FTs to take down USC Upstate

AJ Jordan converted a layup and sophomore duo of Shanika Maddox and Kayla Cook combined to sink five free throws over the final minute of the game to lift Coastal to a 61-56 win over USC Upstate at Kimbel Arena.

Coastal Carolina finishes the non-conference portion of its schedule 7-2, the Chanticleers best non-conference mark since starting the 2009-10 season 9-3.  USC Upstate falls to 1-11 (0-2 Atlantic Sun) with the loss.

Olivia Irick led Coastal in scoring for the second time this season as she was the only Chant in double figures with 10 points.  Maddox scored nine points to go along with her team-high 11 boards as Cook also contributed nine with seven coming at the free throw line.

Paulina Zaveckaite recorded game-highs with 15 points and 17 rebounds to lead four Spartans in double figures.

Irick opened up the scoring in the second half as she sank a trey from the left wing just 12 seconds into the frame to give the Chants its second largest lead of the game at 28-20.  Upstate then used six straight points by Zaveckaite and a three pointer by Hannah Ohl to pull within one of Coastal at 30-29 with 16:14 to play.

Coastal put together a 6-0 run extend its lead back to seven before Upstate responded with a quick 7-0 run of its own to knot the score at 36-all.  After exchanging jumpers in the lane, the Chanticleers pulled out to a 52-45 edge with 4:35 remaining as Jordan and Angelica Henry each poured in five points during the stretch.

The Coastal freshman tandem of Shatia Cole and Jordan connected on jumpers in back-to-back possessions to extend the Chanticleer lead to 56-49 with just over a minute to play.  Cook and Maddox scored Coastal’s final five points at the charity stripe to keep pace with a late Spartan push to provide the 61-56 final.

Kira Carter’s three point play the old fashioned way at the 16:24 mark in the first half sparked a 14-6 Chanticleer run over the ensuing 7:10 to turn a two point deficit into an 18-12 advantage with 8:34 to play before the break.  The Spartans countered with a basket of their own before Irick connected on her seventh trifecta of the season and Cole converted a runner in the lane to provide Coastal with a 23-14 lead with just over six minutes to play.

Upstate countered with a 6-2 run of its own over the final minutes of the half to close the Chants advantage to 25-20 at the intermission.

Chanticleer sophomore center Katelyn Connor scored a career-high six points on a perfect 3-of-3 from the floor in her 16 minutes of play.

Coastal finished the game shooting 37.9 percent from the field to eclipse Upstate’s 33.3 percent.  The Chants were outscored in the paint, 28-26, for only the second time this season; but owned a 29-11 advantage in bench points.

The Chanticleers return to the court on Saturday, Dec. 31, in their Big South Conference lid lifter against Winthrop.  Tip-off from Kimbel Arena is slated for 2 p.m.

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