CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) — Aja Blount led the charge with a game-high 18 points as Coastal Carolina defeated Marshall 65-61 Thursday night in a Sun Belt Conference game.
Coastal led almost the entire game and a 23-point led through the third quarter.
Marshall closed the gap to only a four-point differential with one minute remaining.
Coastal had three other players in double figures besides Blount, including Angie Juste-Jean with 15 points, Arin Freeman who had 14 points, and Deaja Richardson who added 12 points.
Freshman Anaya Barney for the Chants struggled offensively, only scoring three points, but chipped in defensively with a team high 10 rebounds.
The Chants snapped a two-game losing streak to sit at 7-9 overall and 2-3 in the Sun Belt.
Marshall, now 9-7 and 2-3 in the Sun Belt, was led by Abby Beeman, who led three players in double figures with 15 points.
“We did not close it out the way we wanted to. We had a nice lead and then gave up 27 points in the fourth quarter,” said first-year Coastal head coach Kevin Pederson. “But that was a real good win for us. We needed this one after coming off two tough home losses. We hit the free throw when we needed to and that was the difference.”
The Chants stretched their lead to 23 points early in the third quarter with an 11-0 run, as Juste-Jean, Richardson, and Barney each hit three-pointers.
The two teams were close in field goals made, but the difference was at the free throw line, where Coastal sank 18-of-24 attempts, while Marshall was just 7-of-14.
Coastal will host South Alabama at 2 p.m. ET Saturday afternoon. Then the Chants take to the road for matchups at Georgia State (Jan. 19) and Appalachian State (Jan. 21).