ASHEVILLE, N.C. - With under 20 seconds to play and the game tied at 46-46, Coastal Carolina's Shatia Cole hit a off-balanced jumper from just beyond the free throw line to give the her team a two-point advantage over UNC Asheville, as the Chanticleers were able to hold on over the final 18 seconds of the game to pick up a 50-46 victory over the Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon.
"Before the game I asked the team to focus on doing the little things, and to play for each other today, and they did that," said Bulldogs' head coach Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick. "We put ourselves on the line today, overachieving time and time again, we just came up a little short. I'm proud to be their coach, and proud of their effort today."
Prior to Cole's shot, Gentry Manley tied the game at 46 with a layup at the 46 second mark. Coastal's Angelica Henry missed a layup on the other end, but Cole came out of the ensuing scrum with the ball and was able to hit the clutch jumper to put the Chanticleers up for good.
With seven seconds on the clock Manley drove the lane to attempt the game-tying layup, only to be blocked by Cole on the way up. Henry grabbed the rebound and was fouled, sending her to the charity stripe where she added a pair of insurance points for Coastal.
With the setback Asheville falls to 2-22 on the season overall, while also dropping to 0-13 in Big South Conference play. This was the Bulldogs' second loss of the season to the Chanticleers, who improve to 11-12 and 6-7 in league play.
Manley led the Bulldogs offensively with 10 points, while Jeannie Buckner chipped in nine to Asheville's total. Paige Love and Kelli Riles scored eight points apiece, while Rachel McGirt pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds.
"When Kelli (Riles) got in foul trouble, Rachel (McGirt) and Tyler (Smith) gave us great minutes down the stretch," added Kirkpatrick.
The Chanticleers were led in scoring by Katelyn Connor, who scored 11 points. Connor also pulled down a team-best 11 rebounds for her third double-double of the season.
Asheville has now dropped 15 contests in a row, with their last victory coming against Columbia College on Dec. 8. Nine of the Bulldogs' setbacks have been by six points or less, including today.
The Bulldogs will be on the road for their next two contests, beginning with a trip to High Point on Thursday, Feb. 14. Asheville fell at home to the Panthers on Dec. 29, 58-57, as the Bulldogs had a pair of shots that rolled out in the closing seconds of the game. Opening tip is set for 7 p.m. on the campus of the Panthers.