Lady Chants’ late rally falls shy in regular season finale

Coastal Carolina cut High Point’s lead to a single possession twice in the final minute of play, but the Panthers knocked down four free throws down the stretch to secure a 58-53 win in both teams’ final regular season game on Saturday inside the Millis Center.

High Point led the Coastal by two, 52-50, with just under a minute remaining in the game. High Point’s Stacia Robertson grabbed an offensive rebound and the putback to make it a four-point lead with 37 seconds to go. Tremblay was fouled by Angelica Henry following a turnover and made both free throws to give the Panthers a 56-50 lead with 25 seconds remaining.

Henry cut the Chanticleers’ deficit to three with a trifecta from three steps beyond the arc with 14 seconds on the clock. HPU forced Coastal Carolina to turn the ball over twice in the final seconds and Cheyenne Parker sealed the game with two made free throws to secure the 58-53 win.

High Point, which finishes the regular season with at 17-12 (11-7 Big South), was led on the afternoon by Robertson’s 22-point, 13-rebound double-double. Tayler Tremblay joined Robertson in double figures with 16 points. The Chants kept Parker relatively quiet on the offensive end of the floor, but the nation’s leading shot blocker tallied five rejections and a game-high 15 boards.

Coastal Carolina concludes the regular season with a 13-15 overall record and an 8-10 mark in league play. The Chants’ eight league wins are the most for the program since also recording eight during the 2008-09 campaign. Henry, Katelyn Connor and Kayla Cook co-led the Chanticleer attack with 11 points each. Connor and Henry were also the team’s leading rebounders with eight apiece.

Coastal took an early lead in the second half at 27-25 on a layup by Alexx Puckett, but the lead would not hold as Robertson sparked a 9-0 High Point run over the ensuing 2:25. The Chants countered with a 7-0 run of its own to tie the game at 34 with 12 minutes to play. Coastal continued to keep pace with High Point the rest of the way, tying the Panthers four times and keeping the game within two possessions.

High Point jumped out to a 9-0 lead before Shatia Cole was able to get the Chants on the board with a triple nearly six minutes into the game. Nearly four minutes later AJ Jordan knocked down a 12-footer to trim the Panthers’ lead to 12-9. The Chants then clamped down on the defensive end, forcing several empty High Point possessions. Henry knotted the score at 12-all with an old-fashioned 3-point play with just over eight minutes to play in the first period.

High Point quickly regained the lead and outscored Coastal 12-10 the rest of the half to take a 24-22 lead into the intermission.

For the game, Coastal Carolina shot 32.8 percent (19-of-58) and outscored High Point 18-8 off turnovers. The Chants also owned a 28-26 advantage in the paint. The Panthers shot 32.3 percent (21-of-65) from the floor for the game, and won the rebounding battle 47-43.

The Chanticleers next play on Wednesday evening in the first round of the 2013 VisitMyrtleBeach.com Big South Basketball Championships. Coastal will be the eighth seed in the tournament, playing ninth-seeded Gardner-Webb with the winner advancing to face top-seeded Liberty in the quarterfinal round on Friday.

Photo by Joel Beachum

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