BOONE, N.C. – The Coastal Carolina women’s basketball team rallied from a 10-point third-quarter deficit to fall 66-61 to Appalachian State in the final minutes Wednesday afternoon, in Boone, N.C. The Chanticleers dropped to 12-5 on the year and 2-4 in the Sun Belt Conference, while the Mountaineers moved to 10-8 overall and 4-1 in conference action with the win.
Coastal Carolina was led by senior Aja Blount (20 points, 10 rebounds) and freshman Angie Juste-Jean (15 points, 10 rebounds) as the duo recorded double-doubles, while junior Blayre Shultz chipped in with 11 points and senior Janeen Camp added nine points. App State had two players reach double-digit points as Alexia Allesch had 20 points and 11 boards for a double-double and Michaela Porter added 18 points for the host team.
CCU opened the game by taking a 10-point lead in the first four minutes as Shultz, Blount, and Juste-Jean combined for 13 points and a 15-5 Chanticleer lead. Shultz opened the contest with a three-point jumper on the wing before following up with a jump shot inside the free-throw line. Juste-Jean pushed the lead to 8-3 with a three-pointer from the far corner before Blount scored an old-fashioned three-point play on a hook shot in the paint after grabbing the offensive rebound. Juste-Jean and Blount hit back-to-back short jumpers in the paint to finish the run.
However, the Mountaineers closed the first quarter on a 21-6 run to take a 26-21 lead with Allesch recording 12 of her 20 points. App State’s Brook Bigott sparked the run with a three-pointer to cut into the visitor’s lead, while Allesch scored the next six points with the Chants up 21-15. Porter gave the Mountaineers their first lead at 22-21 with 1:21 left to play in the first, followed by Allesch’s layup and Emily Carver’s fast-break layup for the 26-21 lead.
The second quarter saw both squads go cold from the field. Coastal would go 2-of-16 from the floor, while App State fared a tad better at 3-of-15 with two being from behind the three-point arc to help give the Mountaineers a 35-26 halftime lead.
Appalachian State and Coastal traded baskets to open the third period, with App State going up by 10 twice before the Chants closed out the quarter on a 14-2 run to take a two-point lead at end of the quarter. CCU’s Juste-Jean sparked the run with a driving layup in the paint allowing Blount to exert herself with six quick points to cut the host team’s lead to just two points. Juste-Jean and Bigott traded baskets allowing the Mountaineers to maintain a two-point advantage before freshman Arin Freeman closed the third period with her four points on the day to push CCU in front by two points.
The final stanza saw both teams battle back-and-forth with Appalachian State taking a nine-point lead with just over three minutes remaining to play. Coastal looked to capitalize on the momentum the Chants gained with a hook shot by Blount to push the visitor’s lead to four before the Mountaineers asserted themselves back into the contest with a three-point shot by Dana Bertolina to trim the Chanticleers’ lead to one at 49-48.
App State raced out in front with a 10-0 run before Shultz hit back-to-back three-point shots to give the Chants a sign of life late in the contest. Coastal’s Juste-Jean and Tyra Brown (two points) cut the Mountaineers’ lead to two with 50 seconds remaining in regulation only to see Appalachian State close out the game from the free-throw line as Saunders and Carver combined to go 3-of-4 for the final margin of 66-61.
For the 17th game, Coastal outrebounded its opponent, this time 52-38, which allowed for CCU to hold a 17-8 advantage in second-chance points. The Chanticleers also won the turnover battle 14-15 while both teams recorded 32 points in the paint. Coastal was 24-of-77 from the field for a 31.2 shooting percentage, while the Mountaineers shot 43.1 percent on 25-of-58.
Coastal Carolina will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 29, as the Chants and App State will meet at the HTC Center on the campus of Coastal Carolina University. The tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET and is the second game of a doubleheader with the men’s basketball team.
Courtesy – Coastal Carolina Athletics