CULLOWHEE, NC (WBTW) – The Coastal Carolina women’s basketball defeated Western Carolina 66-43 in Cullowhee, N.C., on Sunday afternoon. The Chanticleers improved to 4-0 on the season while the Catamounts fell to 1-7 on the year.
CCU reserve Aja Blount scored a team-high 16 points to lead the offensive attack off the bench. Blount was aided on the offensive end by Torrie Cash and Zacharyia Esmon who both finished with double-figure games. Cash tallied 10 points while Esmon recorded her fourth-straight double-figure game with 11 points.
WCU’s Jewel Smalls recorded a double-double with a game-high 17 points and a career-high 18 rebounds in the losing effort.
The Chants won the opening tip and took an early three-point lead when Naheria Hamilton hit the first bucket of the game in the paint followed by DJ Williams hitting 1-of-2 free throws for the early 3-0 lead.
Western answered with five-straight points to give the Catamounts their first lead of the game at 5-3 with 7:12 remaining in the first quarter. Smalls knocked down her second three-pointer to give the Catamounts their last lead of the game at 8-6 with five minutes remaining in the quarter.
CCU’s Blount made an immediate impact upon entering the game, as the sophomore forward made a hook shot to even the contest at 8-8 but failed to convert the and-one at the charity stripe. The Chanticleers picked up the intensity, going on a 12-3 run to close out the first quarter at 20-11.
Cash and Blount would lead Coastal to a 35-22 score at the intermission by scoring five and four points in the second quarter, respectively.
Western Carolina’s Smalls and Judith Martin Ruiz would start to claw the Catamounts back into the game in the third quarter by getting 11 points combined to outscore CCU in the third quarter 14-13 and pull WCU within 12 points at 48-36.
The Chants would open the final stanza with a 12-0 run, sparked by an Esmon floater in the paint, to open a 26-point lead before Western would hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to 62-39.
Coastal newcomers Bailey Lewis and Alana Denson would close out the scoring for the Chanticleers getting their first career points. Upon checking into the contest Lewis dropped in a layup while Denson would get her points from the free-throw line after getting fouled on a driving layup attempt.
Coastal Carolina will return to action at the HTC Center in Conway, S.C. as the Chants will host Richmond in the Coastal Carolina Thanksgiving Classic on Friday, Nov. 29 with the opening tip scheduled for 2 p.m.
Courtesy: Coastal Carolina Athletics