MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - In a game that featured nine tie scores and nine lead changes, Coastal Carolina was able to pull away late to upend UNC Asheville, 73-62, in Big South Conference women's basketball action at The HTC Center on the campus of the Chanticleers.
"Time and time again these girls come to fight no matter what the circumstances are," said Asheville head coach Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick. "We do need to improve our defensive presence from start to finish and have more of a stop mentality in all of our looks. We gave Coastal too many second chance opportunities tonight so we'll need to correct that going forward."
The Bulldogs fall to 2-18 on the year, with a 0-9 record in the Big South while the Chanticleers improve to 8-12 overall and 3-7 in conference.
Freshman Paige Love led the Bulldogs in scoring with 18 points, tying a career-high in points for the second game in a row. Gentry Manley recorded her first double-double of the season, scoring 14 and pulling down 12 boards for the Bulldogs, while Kelli Riles posted 12 points and eight rebounds in the contest.
The Chanticleers were led offensively by Angelica Henry, who tallied a game-high 19 points in the victory. All five of Coastal's starters were in double figures scoring, with A.J. Jordan posting 14, Katelyn Connor scoring 13, Alexx Puckett scoring 12 and Shatia Cole adding 10 to the final total.
The first half saw the two teams trade buckets back-and-forth, with Asheville leading by as much as six points and Coastal leading by as much as seven. Grace Blaylock scored three treys to lead all Bulldogs in points in the opening frame, finishing the half with nine points.
Coastal's Henry led all players in the first, with 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the floor.
Trailing 37-31 heading into the break, the Bulldogs fell behind by as many as 10 points at 47-37 with 14:33 remaining. Over the next seven minutes the Blue & White went on a 15-4 run, taking a 53-52 lead on a Riles' layup with 7:05 on the clock.
Over the next three minutes the two squads traded the lead back-and-forth, culminating in a 59-59 tie with just under four minutes to play. However, the Chants were able to finish the game on a 14-3 scoring run, converting eight free throws in the closing minutes.
"I am proud of our collective effort and determination after getting down ten in the second half and responding to retake the lead," added Kirkpatrick. "We will bounce back and be ready for the second round of the Big South games, most importantly Thursday night's match up against Gardner-Webb."
The Bulldogs continue their road trip on Thursday evening, when they square off against Big South foe Gardner-Webb at 7 p.m. The two teams met on Jan. 19, with GWU earning a 58-45 victory at the Kimmel Arena on the campus of the Bulldogs.