Coming off just the second 40-point game in Coastal Carolina women’s basketball history, and with the spotlight on her as the team’s only senior on senior day, Jas Adams was looking to have a big afternoon Saturday against South Alabama.
Yet through three quarters, the Sun Belt Conference’s leading scorer had missed all seven of her field goal attempts and had just seven points from the free throw line. Not surprisingly, the Chanticleers trailed by nine points.
Undeterred, Adams would indeed make her final home game memorable and victorious.
Adams scored 12 consecutive points in the midst of an improbable 23-0 run to start the fourth quarter that propelled the Chants to a 71-56 win.
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“They played me pretty well, and I was trying to rush shots as well. Once I calmed down and relaxed, that changed in the fourth quarter,” Adams said. “I got to the rim and got fouled. I got to the free throw line, and I love free throws. They’re easy for me. I got there, got my rhythm back, got back in tune, and after that everything just fell for me.”
Three straight wins over Appalachian State, Troy and South Alabama – the latter two coming to the HTC Center with records of 8-4 and 8-5 in Sun Belt Conference play – have lifted Coastal to 14-12 on the season and 8-7 in the conference, and give the CCU women a 13-4 record at home this season.
The Chants trailed by 13 midway through the third quarter and were down 52-43 through three quarters before the 23-0 gave them a 14-point lead.
“A run like that is something you only usually see in championship games,” Adams said. “We were down 10 the whole game and before you knew it we were up.”
During Adams’ struggles, sophomore D.J. Williams carried the offense with 23 of her game-high 27 points before Adams hit her first field goal early in the fourth quarter.
Williams sparked a quick 7-0 run in the first 1:12 of the fourth quarter with a layin, dish to Naheria Hamilton for a three-point play and steal and layin.
Williams, who is fifth in the conference with 14.8 points per game, had scored just 19 points on 6-for-27 shooting in the previous two games combined.
“I told her she took two games off and I held it down, I said it’s your turn to score a lot this game and she came out strong,” Adams said. “She really stepped up and took over for me and I really appreciate it. It made my life a little bit easier.”
Adams broke out of her shooting slump in a big way to finish with 19 points.
In the span of 3:40, the Winston-Salem, N.C., native scored 12 consecutive points by hitting five of six shot attempts, including a pair of 3-pointers, to give Coastal a 62-52 lead.
Adams, who leads the Sun Belt with 18.7 points per game, scored 40 Thursday in a win over Troy to become just the second CCU woman to ever score 40 points in a game.
Though she came five points shy of Andrea Singleton’s single-game program record of 45 points set in 1985-86, she did set the HTC Center single-game CCU women’s scoring record, surpassing the 36 points scored by now CCU assistant coach A.J. Jordan in 2014-15, when Adams was a freshman on the team.
“It was pretty awesome. I still don’t believe it,” Adams said. “I wanted to beat A.J. Jordan’s record. She scored 36 and I wanted to beat that. I’ve tried to do it for many years. I only had two home games left so I had to shoot out. My teammates played a fantastic game and allowed me to get open.”
Adams finished Thursday night 9 of 18 from the field with six 3-pointers, and 16 of 21 at the free-throw line. She had just one point in the opening quarter but erupted for 18 points in the second and scored 21 in the second half. Adams also pulled in a team-leading 11 rebounds for her second double-double of the season.
“I couldn’t get to 45,” Adams said. “I was tired by then. But getting one [record] is good enough for me.”
Coastal takes to the road for its final three regular season games of the season Thursday at Little Rock, Saturday at Arkansas State and March 3 at Appalachian State. The Sun Belt Conference Tournament at Lakefront Arena in New Orleans begins March 6.
“We’re definitely going to try to keep this energy,” Adams said. “I keep telling everybody we’re on a mission, and they know what the mission is.”