Marshall ends Lady Chants’ undefeated start to season

ccuwhoops-1dribbleThe Coastal Carolina women’s basketball team fell 77-65 to Marshall Saturday afternoon at The HTC Center. The loss is the first of the season for the Chanticleers, and snaps a four-game unbeaten streak.

Saturday’s result moves the overall record of each team to 4-1. It is the second time in as many seasons that the Chants have won four of their first five games under head coach Jaida Williams.

Marshall was led by strong shooting from AJ Johnson, who finished with 21 points and went 7-13 from the field, including 5-9 from beyond the arc. As a team, the Thundering Herd shot 50 percent from the field and 47.1 percent from 3-point range.

The Chants received 15 points apiece from Stephanie Isaacs and Anna Vogt, each of whom had strong second-half performances. Ced Gibson provided 13 points, and Alexis Robinson led Coastal with 10 rebounds.

Coastal shot 33.3 percent from the floor, and held a 43-40 advantage over Marshall in rebounds. It was the first game this season that the Chants tallied less than 50 boards.

Marshall ended the first half with a 33-24 lead thanks in large part to the shooting of Johnson, who made four of her five 3-point attempts, and added a layup to finish the half with 14 points.

The Herd grabbed an early 11-4 lead in the opening three minutes before Coastal responded with a 7-4 run. Gibson engineered the run as the redshirt sophomore hit a mid-range jumper and 3-pointer before dishing to Vogt, who capped the stretch with a short jumper in the paint.

Marshall answered quickly with back-to-back 3-pointers to regain momentum, and tacked on 12 more points before the horn sounded to end the half.

Coastal was outscored 16-10 in the opening six minutes of the second half, but used a flurry of scoring in the following three minutes to chip away at Marshall’s lead. Gibson once again sparked Coastal’s offensive attack, hitting a jumper to start off a 14-4 run. Gibson finished with four points during that stretch, while Vogt provided eight and Jordan tallied two.

Despite the offensive burst, the Chants were only able to shorten Marshall’s lead to seven, which stood as the closest scoring margin for the remainder of the half.

Marshall closed the second half shooting 53.8 percent from the floor, and made 14 of its 22 free throw attempts as the Chants were called for 14 personal fouls.

The Herd finished the game with 38 points in the paint, more than doubling Coastal’s 18. The Chants were also edged 17-13 in points off turnovers.

The Chants hit the road for the first time this season on Wednesday, December 3 when they travel to Furman for a 7 pm tip. Coastal then faces a quick turnaround as it hosts Johnson & Wales for a 7 pm contest on Thursday at The HTC Center.

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