MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – The UNC Asheville women’s basketball team will continue its road trip to South Carolina on Saturday afternoon, when the Bulldogs take on league foe Coastal Carolina at 4 p.m., in the Big South Conference’s Women’s Game of the Week on ESPN3.
The game will be available to watch live on ESPN3.com and WatchESPN apps, and is part of a doubleheader featuring the Big South’s Men’s Game of the Week, Campbell at Coastal Carolina beginning at 7 p.m. Fans can also listen to the game on the live audio link on UNCABulldogs.com
The Bulldogs are coming off of a 73-59 setback to Charleston Southern on Thursday evening. Asheville struggled offensively in the early goings of the contest, but hit their stride midway through the second half. The Blue & White posted their most points scored in a half this season, scoring 43 in their comeback attempt, but could not overcome the early deficit.
Paige Love tied a career-high with 18 points, scoring all of her points in the second half.
The Bulldogs are now 2-17 on the year, with a 0-8 mark in the Big South.
Winthrop's Diana Choibekova tied a season-high with 23 points, including six 3-pointers, and guard Dequesha McClanahan added 16 points as the Eagles pulled away in the second half to defeat Coastal Carolina at The HTC Center on Thursday night, 76-52. Coastal fell to 7-12 overall and 2-7 in the conference with its fifth consecutive setback.
Shatia Cole led the Chanticleers with 16 points while Alexx Puckett had 13 points. Katelyn Connor added 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Choibekova had 14 of her points for the Eagles in the second half and hit on 6-of-8 3-pointers.
Despite the five straight loss for Coastal, Asheville head coach Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick sees a tough opponent awaiting the Bulldogs.
“Coastal is an athletic and aggressive scoring team in transition,” said Kirkpatrick. “They have a well-balanced scoring attack that makes it difficult to key in on one player. We did a much better job of taking care of the ball in our loss to CSU and that will be critical tomorrow against the Chanticleers.”
“We had great performances by Kelli Riles and Paige Love offensively last night, but we will need to have a better scoring presence from everyone and a determined defensive effort to give ourselves an
Riles recorded her eighth double-double of the season against the Lady Bucs, scoring 20 and pulling down 18 rebounds.
The series record between UNC Asheville and Coastal Carolina is tied at 28-28. Asheville has won 6-of-10 from the Chanticleers, with each team winning on their home court last season. The Bulldogs earned a 69-60 victory on Jan. 7 at the Kimmel Arena, while Coastal earned a 74-58 win on Feb. 6 at Kimbel Arena.
The game will mark the first time the Bulldogs have played in Coastal Carolina’s brand new arena, The HTC Center. The HTC Center will host the Big South Conference Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments over the next three seasons.
With the loss to Charleston Southern, UNC Asheville remains the only team in the Big South without a conference victory.
Asheville also hopes to snap an 18-game losing streak in Big South Conference play dating back to last season. The Bulldogs last league win was a 74-62 victory over Gardner-Webb on Jan. 21, 2012.
Kelli Riles has posted eight double-doubles on the season. She has grabbed at least 10 rebounds in 10 contests.
Senior center Kelli Riles continues to move up the career ladder on the Big South’s all-time list for rebounds. Riles moved into fifth place against Charleston Southern on Jan. 24, when she collected 18 rebounds. She now has 957 career rebounds as she moved past Liberty’s Megan Frazee, who had 951 in her career. Radford’s Karen Bowles is in fourth place all-time, as she grabbed 1,012 rebounds from 1986-90. In addition to her milestones in rebounding, Riles is knocking on the door for points. Kelli has 925 points and needs just 75 to reach 1,000 career points. If she can get to 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds, Riles will be just the second player in school history to accomplish that feat and first in the Division I era.