CONWAY, S.C. – Senior guard Tyra Brown scored a game-high 17 points and made four free throws in the final minute as Coastal Carolina held on for a 53-41 win over UNC Greensboro Friday afternoon at the HTC Center. The win lifted the Chanticleers to a 5-0 start for the first time since the 2007-08 season.

Brown got support from senior forward Aja Blount and freshman guard Arin Freeman, who had 10 points apiece, but the win didn’t come easy. UNC Greensboro fought back from an 18-point deficit to get within 44-39 before Brown keyed a 9-0 run for the Chants in the final two minutes. Blount hit a three-pointer from the key with just under two minutes remaining. Brown and Freeman combined to hit 6-of-9 free throws down the stretch to seal the win. 

“We’ll take ugly wins over pretty losses any day,” said ninth-year head coach Jaida Williams following the game. “I loved the way Tyra stood up for us and willed us to victory.”

UNC Greensboro rallied behind seniors Isys Grady and CeCe Crudup in the second half, but it wasn’t enough for the Spartans, who fell to 3-2 on the season. Grady finished with 12 points and, Crupup added seven points, all in the second half.

After trading baskets to start the game, Coastal went on top when Brown hit a three-pointer to begin a 7-0 run. The Chants then went on a 10-2 run to start the second quarter, giving them a 21-9 advantage. Freeman hit two shots from long range in that run, while Brown added her second three-pointer.

Coastal increased its advantage to 25-10 on a pair of free throws by Blount, her only points of the half, but settled for a 25-12 halftime lead. Freeman and Brown combined for 14 points in the half, hitting on 5-of-8 shots. Conversely, UNC Greensboro shot poorly in the half – hitting 4-of-27 from the field and making just two field goals in the final 18:46.

Coastal stretched its lead to 18-points early in the third quarter before UNC Greensboro used a pressing defense to trigger a comeback. The comeback started with an 11-0 run in the third quarter and continued with a 10-4 run in the final period to cut the margin to five before the Chanticleers answered at the end. 

Blount’s three-pointer got things started. Brown then made 4-of-6 free throws and, Freeman made a pair to close the Chants’ scoring.

Coastal hit on 17-of-51 shots from the field (33 percent) and tied a season-high with seven three-pointers. UNC Greensboro finished 16-of-60 from the field (27 percent). Inside players Janee Camp and Janeen Camp led the Chants with nine rebounds apiece, helping them to a 49-34 advantage on the boards. 

Coastal will host East Tennessee State in its second game of the Coastal Carolina Thanksgiving Classic at 2 p.m. Sunday. ESTU faced Garner-Webb in its first-round game at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

Courtesy – Coastal Carolina Athletics