LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Coastal Carolina women’s basketball team fell 54-50 to Little Rock in Little Rock, Ark., on Thursday evening. With the loss the Chanticleers dropped to 12-3 overall and 2-2 in Sun Belt Conference action, while the Trojans improved to 6-5 on the season and 1-0 in the conference with the win.

CCU’s Aja Blount led the Chanticleers with a team high 17 points while newcomers Angie Juste-Jean and Kalaya Buggs chipped in with nine and seven points, respectively. The Trojans were led by Sali Kourouma with a game-high 23 points with Krystan Vornes recording 15 points on her own.

Little Rock opened the game with a quick basket after winning the opening tip by Vornes. SBC leading scorer Kourouma followed with a layup to give the host team a 4-0 advantage. From there, the Chants closed the opening quarter with a 13-2 run to take a 13-6 lead at the first break.

Coastal’s Blount scored CCU’s first points with a pair of free throws, which was followed quickly by a Juste-Jean jumper in the paint to even the contest up at 4-4. Halfway through the opening stanza, Blayre Shultz hit 1-of-2 from the charity stripe to give the Chants the lead at 5-4, and Buggs followed by going 1-of-2 from the free throw line to give Coastal a 6-4 advantage.

Freshman guard Juste-Jean, Shultz and Blount sandwiched Little Rock’s final basket of the first quarter with seven points for the 13-6 Chanticleer lead. Blount led the way for CCU with six points while Juste-Jean added four points of her own.

The second quarter saw the visiting Chanticleers take a 10-point advantage at 21-11 on baskets by Janeen Camp and four points from North Little Rock, Ark. native, Arin Freeman. The Trojans’ closed the second quarter with a 12-0 run to retake the lead at the intermission at 23-21.

Little Rock got 14 points from the duo of Kourouma and Mayra Caicedo as the pair recorded eight and six points, respectively, in the second period alone.

The Trojans opened the third quarter with six unanswered points to jump out to a 29-21 lead before Coastal’s Blount stopped the run with a layup cutting the lead to seven.

Coastal fell behind by 11 points as Little Rock’s Kourouma hit one of her two three-point shots halfway through the third quarter. The Chanticleers pulled to within six points on a fast break layup by Juste-Jean before the two teams traded baskets allowing the Trojans to take a 40-33 advantage with 10 minutes remaining in regulation.

The Trojans jumped out to a 10-point advantage early in the fourth quarter on Kourouma’s second three-point shot of the night. The Chants’ Juste-Jean traded baskets with the host team twice cutting into the lead before Little Rock would push it back to 10 on a Vornes answer. Buggs stepped into a three-point shot cutting the Trojans’ advantage to seven at 47-40 with just under eight minutes left to play.

CCU’s Blount, Shultz, and Buggs recorded the final 10 points for the visitors as Blount sandwiched a Shultz three pointer with a pair of layups before Buggs hit her second three-point shot cutting the Little Rock lead to 51-50. The final margin of 54-50 came by way of the free throw line as the Trojans would close out the game by going 3-of-4 from the charity stripe.

Coastal won the rebound battle 50-37, which helped the Chants to outscore the Trojans 30-18 in the paint. Little Rock was 10-of-14 from the free throw line for 71.1 percent while the Chanticleers were 9-of-16 for 56.3 percent.

Coastal Carolina returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 15, as the Chanticleers travel to Jonesboro, Ark. to take on the Arkansas State Red Wolves. The opening tip is scheduled 2 p.m. ET.

Courtesy – Coastal Carolina Athletics