Coastal Carolina women cruise in tune-up before hosting UNC this weekend

ryoung@thesunnews.comDecember 13, 2012 

  • Next game Who | No. 19 North Carolina at Coastal Carolina When | 2 p.m. Sunday Where | The HTC Center, Conway

— Ultimately, the final score didn’t reveal much Thursday evening as the Coastal Carolina women’s basketball team hosted Division II Converse College.

It was the Chanticleers’ first game in 12 days, and more importantly, their final tune-up before hosting perennial national contender North Carolina.

The Chants handled the visiting Valkyries with ease – as expected – on the way to a 70-43 win inside The HTC Center, but CCU coach Alan LeForce acknowledged his team will have to play much better to keep things interesting Sunday against the Tar Heels.

“This game is the type of game you get a lot of times when you’ve been off [12] days,” LeForce said. “... We were just a better basketball team – our talent was much better – and that’s how we won the game. Our intensity was so-so, and our effort was so-so. It was not a very good game, but I’m glad to get it behind us and hopefully we’ll settle down tomorrow and get more focused on what’s going to be going on on Sunday.”

The Chants (6-2) started slow in the opening minutes before using a 12-0 run – keyed by their defensive pressure – to build a 20-6 lead and separate for good. Overall, Coastal forced 23 turnovers, got a career-high 24 points from junior guard Angelica Henry and 16 points and eight steals from sophomore guard Shatia Cole.

“Our coach pretty much tells us defense is everything, so if we just come out and play defense then our offense will come to us,” Henry said.

That worked fine Thursday night. Converse (0-7), which is 0-9 all-time against Coastal, shot just 27.3 percent from the field and attempted only four free throws all game.

But, LeForce said, the challenge will be far greater Sunday against No. 19-ranked North Carolina (9-1).

“We’ve got to be much better than we were today, and we will be,” LeForce said. “Today was one of those games that you’re glad to get it over with and forget about it.”

Converse (0-7) – Nadia Gathers 0-4 0-0 0, Samira Gillcrease 6-20 0-1 14, Jasmine Middlebrooks 4-12 2-2 11, Kayla Garrett 3-15 0-0 7, Kai McCorvey 0-3 0-0 0, Katy Vaughn 4-11 0-0 9, Avery Winchester 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 18-66 2-3 43.

Coastal Carolina (6-2) – Alexx Puckett 1-6 0-0 2, Katelyn Connor 7-16 1-2 15, AJ Jordan 1-7 0-0 2, Shatia Cole 7-12 1-2 16, Angelica Henry 10-13 3-5 24, Jena Hamrick 0-1 0-0 0, Corinne Holland 0-1 0-0 0, Savanah Pippin 0-4 0-2 0, Kayla Cook 2-4 2-2 6, Ressa Borkovich 1-1 0-0 3, DJ Hunter 1-7 0-0 2. Totals 30-72 7-13 70.

Halftime–CCU 36-19. 3-Point Goals–Converse 3-17 (Gillcreese 0-1, Middlebrooks 1-4, Garrett 1-8, Vaughan 1-4), CCU 3-10 (Jordan 0-2, Cole 1-2, Henry 1-2, Hamrick 0-1, Cook 0-2, Borkovich 1-1) Fouled Out–None. Rebounds–Converse 49 (Gillcreese 14), CCU 44 (Henry 6). Assists–Converse 7 (Middlebrooks, Garrett, McCorvey 2), CCU 18 (Cole 5) Total Fouls–Converse 12, CCU 11 Att.–482.

Contact RYAN YOUNG at 626-0318, or follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/RyanYoungTSN.

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