Lady Chants suffer 43rd loss in a row to rival Lady Flames

ccuwhoops-libertyThe Coastal Carolina women’s basketball team lost its fifth straight game Thursday night and its 43rd in a row to its chief conference rival as the Chanticleers (7-7, 1-4) fell 66-47 to the visiting Liberty Flames (10-5, 6-0) at The HTC Center.

Coastal started the game well, outscoring Liberty 32-31 in the first half to earn its first halftime lead against the Flames since the teams met in the 2011 Big South Tournament. The Chants’ momentum did not carry over into the second half, however, and Liberty leaned on the game-leading 24 points from Karly Buer to seal the win.

The Flames had just two players score in double figures, as Mickayla Sanders tallied 15 points to trail Buer. Ashley Rininger and Jasmine Gardner co-led the Flames with seven rebounds apiece.

AJ Jordan led Coastal’s scoring efforts for the second consecutive game as the senior guard posted 13 points while shooting 5-13 from the field and 3-7 from the line. Ced Gibson followed closely with 12 points, and Jas Adams’ 10 points marked her second straight game in double figures.

Coastal’s forward trio of Anna Vogt, Alexis Robinson and Alira Mihocic grabbed six rebounds apiece to lead the squad. As a team, the Chants finished with 33 rebounds to Liberty’s 37, marking the first time this season that Coastal’s opposition has won the battle of the boards.

Liberty led for the majority of the first half, though the Chants never trailed by more than six points. Coastal eventually managed to level the scoreboard with 2:46 remaining in the first half after Gibson knocked down her lone 3-pointer of the contest, and the Chants took their first lead just under a minute later after Vogt rolled one in from the paint.

Buer’s 11th and 12th points of the half evened the score again, but two free throws and a jumper from Jordan gave the Chants a 32-28 lead with under a minute left. Sanders, however, made Liberty’s last possession of the half count as the sophomore drained a shot from distance to bring the Flames within one at the break.

Liberty came out hot in the second half, outscoring Coastal 15-3 in the period’s first 10 minutes. Unlike their last two games, the Chants were unable to muster a comeback attempt, and Liberty held Coastal to shooting just 20.8 percent from the floor in the half. At the other end, the Flames shot 94.1 percent from the charity stripe, converting 16 of their 17 second-half attempts.

The Chants will look to right the ship on Saturday as they remain at home to host the Presbyterian Blue Hose at 2 p.m. at The HTC Center.

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