Lady Chants suffer narrow defeat to Lady Mastodons

The Coastal Carolina women’s basketball team fell by a final score of 51-46 in a closely contested battle at IPFW on Saturday afternoon in Fort Wayne, Ind.

The loss snapped Coastal’s (4-2) four game winning streak, while the win leveled the Mastodons’ record at 2-2.

AJ Jordan led Coastal in the points column for the fourth time this season as she scored 12 on 6-for-12 from the field. Shatia Cole also notched a double –figure effort with 10 points, including eight in the second half. Center Katelyn Connor pulled down a team-high six boards.

IPFW was paced by Amanda Hyde’s game-high 22 points on 8-for-18 from the floor. Stefanie Mauk led the Mastodons with a game-high eight rebounds.

A quick Jordan jumper and Connor trey to open the second half put the Chants up 25-21 with 19 minutes to play. IPFW then countered with a 14-0 run over the ensuing five minutes to regain the lead at 35-25. Jordan broke the Mastodons’ scoring streak with a mid-range jumper off an assist from Fort Wayne, Ind., native Jena Hamrick.

Another Jordan jumper and Angelica Henry 3-pointer pulled Coastal within five at 37-32 just before the under-12 media timeout. However, the Chants were unable to maintain the momentum as IPFW reeled off four points to regain a nine-point advantage. Coastal then used a 7-2 run, capped by freshman Megan Pittman’s first collegiate points, to cut the IPFW lead to four points at 43-39 with 5:40 left on the clock.

IPFW’s followed with a free throw from Erin Murphy and a layup from Amanda Hyde to take a 59-41 lead with just over three minutes to play. Cole answered with a pair of freebies at the 2:21 mark and followed with a deep three at the one minute mark, cutting the game to one possession at 49-46.

The Chants forced IPFW into a rushed shot with 33 seconds remaining and grabbed the rebound. Coastal hurried down the court and set up a Cole for another 3-pointer. Cole’s shot looked good for a second, but it would ultimately rim out and the rebound was controlled by the Mastodons. Hyde knocked down a pair of free throws with six seconds to play, securing the final 51-46 score.

The teams started the game on a feverous pace; however, the neither team was able to take advantage of the numerous open looks. The pace slowed as the half progressed, turning the game into a defensive battle. The Mastodons, propelled by Hyde’s nine-point first half effort, clung to a 21-20 lead at the intermission. Jordan and Puckett co-led the Chants at the break with six points each.

Coastal finished the game shooting a 34.8 percent clip from the field (16-for-46) and season-high 83.3 percent from the free-throw line. IPFW shot 32.6 percent (15-for-46) from the floor and 75 percent from the line.

Coastal Carolina returns to the hardwood for its Big South Conference opener at Gardner-Webb on Dec. 1.  The Chants and the Runnin’ Bulldogs split the season series last year with each claiming a victory on their home court.

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