Coastal Carolina pulls away to beat NCCU

Nov. 17, 2013 @ 08:12 PM

Coastal Carolina executed down the stretch in a close game with the N.C. Central Lady Eagles, winning 66-55 in McDougald-McLendon Gymnasium on Sunday.
More to the point: Coastal Carolina made critical shots. NCCU didn’t.
“Two things: We missed too many layups, one,” NCCU coach Vanessa Taylor said. “And then defensively, we had too many letdowns in the second half. Our awareness and our ability to react to what was happening on the weak side went away.”
NCCU shot 35.5 percent from the field in the first half and led 29-25 at halftime.
The Chanticleers (3-0), from Conway, S.C., shot 26.7 percent in the first half and were making the best of it without A.J. Jordan and Angelica Henry, who were in early foul trouble.
“Having our best two players out of the game for about 12 minutes is hard,” Coastal Carolina coach Jaida Williams said.
Williams said she used halftime to get Jordan and Henry settled, and those two came out in the second half and went to work.
Jordan finished the game with 23 points and eight rebounds, and Henry had 15 points and six assists.
“In the second half, we gave up too many offensive rebounds,” Taylor said. “Too many opportunities for them to get a second shot. Too many opportunities when we weren’t there.”
NCCU got in a groove toward the end of the first half. Tiffany Gary (10 points, 12 rebounds) was leading the charge, finishing the half with eight points on 4 of 6 shooting. Her work on the glass was fierce. She’d pulled down eight rebounds by halftime.
About five minutes into the second half, the Eagles were acting like they’d already lost the game, Gary said.
“That’s what got the best of us,” Gary said. “We quickly picked that back up when Tia hit that 3 in the corner.”
Tia Clement’s 3-pointer made it a 47-47 game with 6:31 left on the clock.
But solid free-throw shooting down the stretch by Henry and Coastal Carolina’s 54.2 percent shooting from the field in the second half ultimately caged what Williams described as a great group of Eagles (1-1).
Nobody was talking that way about last year’s 2-28 Eagles.
“Central returned two players from last year’s team, so let’s make no mistake, this is not the same team from last year, and everyone knows that,” Williams said. “It’s out. It’s no secret.”
Jessica Freeman (18 points), a transfer from UNC-Wilmington, is probably the best player the Chanticleers (3-0) have seen all season, Williams said.

NOTE —Duke’s Elizabeth Williams and several of her teammates were at the game to show love to Coastal Carolina assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Sarah Smoak, who headed up recruiting for the Blue Devils before joining the Chanticleers earlier this year.

JORDAN, AJ 10-20 2-2 23; HENRY, Angelica 3-7 8-10 15; PUCKETT, Alexx 4-5 2-4
10; COOK, Kayla 3-7 0-0 7; PITTMAN, Megan 1-6 4-6 6; CONNOR, Katelyn 0-0 3-4
3; PIPPIN, Savanah 0-0 2-2 2; HAMRICK, Jena 0-1 0-0 0; CARLTON, Olivia 0-5
0-0 0; SIMS, Karsen 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 21-54 21-28 66.
N.C. CENTRAL (1-1)
FREEMAN,Jessica 6-21 3-3 18; GARY,Tiffany 5-7 0-1 10; DAVIS,Racquel 3-6 3-5
9; CONERLY,Khyra 1-14 5-8 7; CLEMENT,Tia 2-2 2-3 7; JONES,Morgan 1-4 0-0 2;
WHALEY-BRIGGS,M. 1-1 0-0 2; CARRINGTON,Shiana 0-0 0-0 0; WILLIAMS,Rachel 0-2
0-0 0; HYNES,Alexus 0-2 0-0 0; DIXON,Tisha 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 19-63 13-20 55.
Coastal Carolina|25|41  -   66
N.C. Central|29|26  -   55
3-point goals--Coastal Carolina 3-15 (COOK, Kayla 1-3; HENRY, Angelica 1-1;
JORDAN, AJ 1-3; HAMRICK, Jena 0-1; CARLTON, Olivia 0-1; SIMS, Karsen 0-1;
PITTMAN, Megan 0-5), N.C. Central 4-15 (FREEMAN,Jessica 3-10; CLEMENT,Tia
1-1; JONES,Morgan 0-2; WILLIAMS,Rachel 0-1; HYNES,Alexus 0-1). Fouled
out--Coastal Carolina-None, N.C. Central-DAVIS,Racquel. Rebounds--Coastal
Carolina 48 (PUCKETT, Alexx 9), N.C. Central 40 (GARY,Tiffany 12).
Assists--Coastal Carolina 12 (HENRY, Angelica 6), N.C. Central 14
(WILLIAMS,Rachel 5). Total fouls--Coastal Carolina 21, N.C. Central 21.
Technical fouls--Coastal Carolina-None, N.C. Central-DAVIS,Racquel. A-687