After finishing seventh in the Sun Belt Conference in their inaugural season in the league last year, the Coastal Carolina women’s basketball team has jumped out to a 2-0 conference start this season.
The Chanticleers (8-5) defeated Texas State 65-64 Sunday afternoon at the HTC Center to earn their third consecutive win. Coastal defeated Texas-Arlington 89-76 Friday in their conference opener.
“We’re excited about it but we’re taking each game day by day to focus on every game,” said Coastal’s lone senior, Jas Adams, who scored a team-high 24 points and grabbed seven rebounds Sunday. “It’s a good conference start for us but we have much more planned in the future so we’re already focused on the next game.”
The Coastal women have won three straight and five of six, with their only loss in that stretch being a 69-57 setback to Syracuse at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center on Dec. 17.
Naheria Hamilton broke a 59-59 tie with an inside basket with 2:12 remaining and D.J. Williams added a free throw to give the Chants a three-point lead. A Kaylin West steal gave CCU another possession to run some time off the clock before Texas State’s Brooke Holle hit a runner in the lane with 16 seconds to play to cut the lead to one.
Adams hit two free throws to reestablish the three-point lead, Texas State (8-5, 1-1) lost an inbounds pass with 4 seconds remaining and fouled Hamilton, who hit one of two free throws, allowing the Chants to withstand a 3-pointer before the buzzer by Toshua Leavitt.
“Our leadership has been phenomenal,” CCU coach Jaida Williams said. “I think Jas does a great job of talking. She was telling people what we were looking for and making sure we got the looks that we wanted.”
The Chants survived a phenomenal individual performance by Texas State junior Toshua Leavitt, who hit 10 of 14 3-pointers and 11 of 16 shots from the field to score 34 points in 35 minutes.
The Coastal women went 8-10 in conference play last year and are among the youngest teams in Division I basketball this season with seven freshmen, two sophomores, just one senior and two juniors.
“They [younger players] have come in and they’re eating it up and they’re just hungry every game,” Adams said. “When they play great we play great. We’re just playing as a team and it’s fun for us right now. We’re focused and we’re playing to win.”
Junior D.J. Williams had 14 points and Hamilton, a sophomore, scored 11 points.