CCU Women

Coastal Carolina women finish strong for much-needed win

ryoung@thesunnews.comJanuary 26, 2013 

  • More information Next game Who | Longwood at Coastal Carolina When | 7 p.m., Thursday Where | The HTC Center, Conway Radio | www.goccusports.com

— It wasn’t necessarily pretty, but it was just what the Coastal Carolina women’s basketball team needed.

Having lost 10 of their previous 11 games while tumbling down the Big South Conference standings, the Chanticleers broke through with a 73-62 win over UNC Asheville on Saturday at The HTC Center.

Granted, the visiting Bulldogs (2-18, 0-9 Big South) have yet to defeat a NCAA Division I team all season, but for the Chants (8-12, 3-7), a win is a win at this point.

“It feels a lot better than what’s happened the past couple of weeks,” said CCU assistant coach Mark Kost, who led the team again as head coach Alan LeForce missed his sixth straight game due to health reasons.

Junior guard Angelica Henry scored a game-high 19 points for Coastal to go with seven rebounds and five steals, while sophomore AJ Jordan (14 points, seven rebounds), junior center Katelyn Connor (13 points, seven rebounds), junior forward Alexx Puckett (12 points) and sophomore guard Shatia Cole (10) all scored in double figures as well.

“It feels great,” Henry said. “I think our team was just striving to get a win, just focusing on getting better and that’s what we did.”

It didn’t come easily, though.

After squandering a 10-point lead early in the second half, the Chants found themselves tied at 59-59 with less than four minutes to play when Puckett scored on a layup off a nice inside feed from Henry. That started an 8-0 run as back-to-back baskets from Jordan pushed the Coastal lead to 67-59 with just more than a minute to play.

Paige Love finished with a team-high 18 points for UNC Asheville.

“There was a point in the game we could have taken control of it and we didn’t,” Kost said. “They put game pressure on us, and this was a game we had to win – we had that monkey sitting on us that we had to win this – and our kids responded. I couldn’t be more proud of them so maybe this will loosen them up to play the rest of the year.”

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

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