Second-half surge sparks Lady Chants’ road victory

ccuwhoops-jordanCoastal Carolina put together one its best halves of the season to overcome a six-point halftime deficit and outscore Charleston Southern by 20 en route to a 77-63 win in women’s basketball action on Saturday afternoon inside the Buc Dome.

The Chanticleers (9-9, 5-4 Big South) scored 44 second-half points on an even 50 percent (15-of-30) from the field, while holding the Buccaneers (7-10, 3-5 Big South) to 24 points on a 27.8 shooting clip (10-of-36). Coastal used immense defensive pressure throughout the half, forcing the Bucs to take off balance shots late into the shot clock.

Coastal’s AJ Jordan led all scorers with 17 points and recorded 13 rebounds, including 11 on the defensive end, to notch her fourth double-double of the season. Angelica Henry nearly posted the first triple-double in Coastal history finishing with 15 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Alexx Puckett and Karsen Sims chipped in 12 points, while Megan Pittman added 10.

Charleston Southern was led by Anacia Dotson’s 16 points. Erin Bratcher and DJ Fowler each contributed 14 points.

Leading 39-33 entering the second half, Charleston Southern stretched its lead to eight points on two different occasions over the opening 1:30. Coastal then pieced together a 12-2 run capped by two Pittman free throws to take a 47-45 lead with 13:22 showing on the clock. CSU’s Bratcher slowed the Chants’ momentum on the Bucs next possession with a 3-point play, giving the Bucs a 48-47 advantage.

However, Coastal quickly regained control of the contest as the teal-clad visitors reeled off 12 unanswered points. The run, which left the Chanticleers with a 59-48 lead with 7:04 to play, was ignited by three of Henry’s season-high six steals that led to six fastbreak points. The scoring streak also featured a 3-pointer from the wing by Sims and five points from Jordan.

Charleston Southern outscored Coastal 13-12 over the ensuing 5:12. Coastal then closed out the contest with six free throws in the final minute to secure their second straight victory inside the Buc Dome.

The first half featured a frantic pace as the teams combined for 72 points as Charleston Southern took a 39-33 lead into the intermission. Although the pace was of the up tempo variety, the team’s ability to make shots did not suffer as Coastal closed the period making 51.9 percent of its shots, while CSU made 46.9 percent.

The Bucs opened the contest on a 15-6 run over the first four minutes, but Coastal immediately answered with a 9-0 scoring streak to tie the game. The Chants tied the game twice more before freshman Olivia Carlton gave Coastal its first lead of the game at 29-26 on a 3-pointer off a Henry assist.

Charleston Southern regained the lead on a Dotson layup before Puckett leveled the score at 31. Two freebies by Alyssa Mann pushed the home side back in front, but Kayla Cook tied the game for the eighth time with a runner in the lane. Coastal would not score over the final 2:30 of the half as Mann and Bratcher connected on threes, giving the Bucs a six-point halftime lead.

The Chanticleers controlled the paint to 38-26 advantage and owned a 14-3 edge in fast break points. Coastal also outrebounded the Bucs 46-30, including 37 defensive boards.

Coastal returns to action Thursday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. as hosts to UNC Asheville at The HTC Center. Charleston Southern next plays Presbyterian at home on Tuesday, Jan. 21.

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