Winthrop hands Lady Chants fifth consecutive league loss

Winthrop’s Diana Choibekova tied a season-high with 23 points, including six 3-pointers, and guard Dequesha McClanahan added 16 points as the Eagles pulled away in the second half to defeat Coastal Carolina in a Big South women’s basketball game at The HTC Center Thursday night, 76-52.

It was the fifth straight win for Winthrop, which improved to 12-8 overall and 6-2 in the Big South. Coastal fell to 7-12 overall and 2-7 in the conference with its fifth consecutive setback.

Shatia Cole led the Chanticleers with 16 points while Alexx Puckett had 13 points. Katelyn Connor added 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Choibekova had 14 of her points for the Eagles in the second half and hit on 6-of-8 3-pointers. She came into the game having hit 58 3-pointers on the season. A year ago, she led the NCAA Division I in 3-points shots per game.

Winthrop led from mid-way in the first half and had a 10-point advantage at the half, 32-22. The Chanticleers cut a 13-point lead to six (44-38) with a 8-point run up to the 12:44 mark in the second half, but the Eagles responded by scoring seven of the next nine points to again build a comfortable lead. The Eagles’ largest lead came at 75-49 with 1:15 left in the game.

McClanahan, who came into the game averaging 18 points a game and 25 over the last four contests, had just six points in the first half, but the Eagles still managed to break open a 4-point game by going on an 11-2 run toward the close of the first half to give the visitors their largest lead of the period at 32-19 with a minute left.  Cole hit a 3-pointer before the half ended and led the Chanticleers with 8 points in the first period.

The Chanticleers shot 30.0 percent (9-of-30) in the first half and 31.6 percent overall (18-of-57). The starting five of Cole, Angelica Henry, AJ Jordan, Connor and Puckett combined to hit 17-of-51 from the field.

Coastal will play home again at 4 p.m. on Saturday versus UNC Asheville.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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