Lady Chants go ice cold on road against Lady Flames

Coastal Carolina endured a seven-plus minute scoring drought in each half as Liberty pulled away for a 68-31 victory Thursday evening at the Vines Center.

Liberty, which clinched the top seed in next week’s VisitMyrtleBeach.com Big South Championships, improves to 23-6 overall and 15-2 in Big South play. The loss knocks Coastal back below .500 for the season at 13-14 overall and 8-9 in conference action.

The Lady Flames’ Devon Brown led all scorers with 17 points, despite only playing 23 minutes. Brown also tied teammate Ashley Rininger with a game-high eight rebounds. Jasmine Gardner and Katelyn Adams each added 10 points for Liberty.

AJ Jordan was Coastal’s top scorer, finishing with 10 points marking her 15 double-figure scoring performance of the season. Angelica Henry chipped in eight points, including a pair of second-half threes. Alexx Puckett and Kayla Cook co-led the Chanticleers on the glass with four boards each, while Shatia Cole recorded four steals.

Coastal took a brief lead in the early minutes of the game as Puckett, Jordan and Katelyn Connor put together a 6-5 run to start the game. But the Chants went cold from the field over the next 7:32 as Liberty built a 15-6 run on the back of nine points by Brown. Cole nailed a triple from the wing to snap the Chants’ scoreless streak and pull the black-clad visitors within a 15-9 score with just over nine minutes to play in the first half.

Cole then scored in the paint and Jordan followed with back-to-back 16-foot jumpers a few possessions later, but that would be the end of any Chanticleer threat as the Lady Flames closed the half on a 7-0 run to take a 31-15 advantage into the intermission.

Brown had 15 of her points in the first half, while Gardner and Adams did most of their damage in the second half. The Lady Flames held their largest lead over the first 20 minutes at the half.

The Chanticleers trimmed Liberty’s halftime lead to 13 points on Angelica Henry’s second-half opening 3-pointer, but Liberty responded with a 24-6 run to take a 55-24 lead at the under-eight media timeout. Liberty held at least a 30-point lead the rest of the way.

For the game, Coastal Carolina shot 29.2 percent (14-of-48) and only attempted two free throws compared to Liberty’s 22. The Lady Flames shot 41.1 percent (23-of-56) from the floor for the game, and owned a 53-17 advantage on the boards.

Coastal Carolina concludes its 2012-13 regular season slate on Saturday at High Point. The Chanticleers and Panthers are scheduled for a matinee with a 1 p.m. tipoff from the Millis Center.

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