Win makes Lady Chants 4-0 in league play for first time

ccuwhoops-1driveCoastal Carolina nearly surrendered a 19-point midway through the second half, but clutch shooting down the stretch by Karsen Sims, AJ Jordan and Angelica Henry pushed the Chanticleers past High Point by an 83-75 final in women’s basketball action at The HTC Center on Thursday evening.

The victory pushes Coastal Carolina to 8-5 overall, but more importantly 4-0 in Big South Conference play for the first time in program history. Coastal’s previous best start to conference play was 3-0 during the 1999-2000 season. The loss moves High Point to 6-7 (2-2 Big South) on the season.

Five Chanticleers finished the contest in double-figures for the second time this season with Jordan leading the charge. Jordan scored 19 points and notched a career-high 15 rebounds, including 13 on the defensive end, for her second consecutive and third double-double of the year. Alexx Puckett scored 17 to go along with her 11 boards, while Megan Pittman added 16 points and six rebounds. Henry totaled 15 points and Sims 14.

High Point’s Kaylah Keys led all scorers with 21 points. She was joined in double-figures by Latrice Phelps with 16, Stacia Robertson with 12 and DeAnneisha Jackson with 10. Robertson also tallied her third double-double of the year, corralling 13 rebounds.

Coastal used eight steals and dominated the defensive glass over the opening 12 minutes of the game to storm out to a 26-7 lead with 9:22 to play before the intermission. High Point’s Robertson and Jordan exchanged jumpers over the next three minutes before the Panthers started their first comeback attempt. High Point took advantage of four buckets in the paint and seven free throws to cut Coastal’s lead to 11 at 35-24 just before the half. However, a foul sent Pittman to the line where she made both free throws with to push Coastal back to a 13-point advantage (37-24) at the half.

High Point struggled mightily from the field over the first 20 minutes, shooting just 20.5 percent from the floor and 6.7 percent from deep. Conversely, the Chanticleers knocked down 42.9 percent of their attempts from the floor despite and 0-for-2 effort from 3-point land.

Robertson and Sims opened the second half scoring for their respective team in the first 1:06, setting the pace for the remainder of the game. Keys then made four straight at the charity stripe to trim the score to 39-30 and bring the Panthers within 10 points for the first time since the 15:19 mark of the first half. The Panthers kept the momentum over the ensuing six minutes as they put together a 21-14 run to take Coastal’s lead down to two at 53-51 with 11:29 to play.

Jordan scored for Coastal on its next possession and after two empty possessions by High Point; Puckett ripped down a defensive rebound and fed the ball ahead to Henry who spotted Sims alone in the right corner. Sims received the ball and knocked down a deep three. Puckett then scored inside for the Chants and Sims again sank a trey from the corner to reestablish Coastal’s double-digit lead at 63-51 with 9:32 to play.

The Chants scored 11 of the next 19 points to take a 74-59 advantage before the Panthers made their final comeback attempt. High Point’s Teddy Vincent connected on a pair of threes and Phelps scored twice inside before Jackson capped the 12-0 run with a fastbreak layup, cutting Coastal edge to 74-71.

A free throw each by Puckett and Jordan were countered by a jumper by Phelps, leaving Coastal ahead 76-73 with just 1:42 remaining. Coastal nearly used the entire shot clock on its next possession before Henry knocked down a 3-pointer from the top of the key, pushing the Chanticleers back ahead by six.

Jackson answered with a jumper on HPU’s ensuing possession, but four Coastal free throws down the stretch, including a pair by Henry with 15 seconds remaining, secured the 83-75 victory.

Coastal finished the contest shooting 47.7 percent (31-of-65) and held a 47-42 advantage on the boards. The Chant also owned a 46-30 edge in points in the paint. High Point shot 36.4 percent (28-of-77) for the game and held a 25-16 lead in point off turnovers.

Coastal Carolina returns to play on Saturday, Jan. 4 hosting Liberty at 2 p.m. High Point continues its road swing at Campbell on Saturday.

Photo courtesy of CCU Atletics

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