Statesboro, Ga. – Sophomore Aja Blount and senior DJ Williams combined for 50 points and 25 rebounds to lead the Coastal Carolina women’s basketball team to a 90-74 victory over Georgia Southern on Thursday evening in Statesboro, Ga. The win gives the Chanticleers a 22-3 overall record and a 12-2 mark in the Sun Belt Conference while the Eagles fell to 8-17 on the year and 5-9 in conference action.
The Chanticleers’ 22 wins this season are the most in program history, eclipsing the previous mark of 21 set back in 1982-83.
Blount had a team-high 29 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Chants offense with Williams adding 21 points and 11 rebounds to record double-doubles as CCU has had a player record at least a double-double in each of the last seven contests. Senior Naheria Hamilton chipped in six points and pulled down 11 rebounds while blocking three shots, moving the Goldsboro, N.C. native, into a tie in CCU program history for most career blocked shots with 209.
Georgia Southern was led by Tatum Barber’s 29 points while Alexis Brown, Jaiden Hamilton, and Nikki McDonald all added 13 points each.
With the first basket of the contest, Williams moved into a tie for fifth on Coastal’s all-time scoring list on a driving layup to open the scoring. The Chanticleers would open a six-point lead three times in the first quarter with the final coming off a Zacharyia Esmon jumper with four seconds remaining in the period. Coastal would get six points from Williams and five by Esmon to end the first quarter with a 20-14 advantage.
The Eagles would surge in the second quarter to outscore CCU 25-20 off 13 points from Barber who was 5-of-8 from the field and 3-of-6 from three-point range after the Chants would take the then largest lead of eight in the opening seconds of the quarter. Barber would hit a three-point shot to start the surge and then force Coastal to call a timeout after hitting her second three of the quarter with 7:14 remaining until the intermission. McDonald would make a layup with 39 seconds on the clock to close out the scoring and cut CCU’s lead to one at 40-39 at the intermission.
CCU’s Blount and Williams would combine for 16 of the 24 points in the third to help the Chants open a nine-point lead at the end of the third quarter. Blount would go 3-of-4 from the field and the charity stripe as the sophomore forward would put the team on her shoulders and drive to the basket throughout the period. Williams hit a deep three-pointer on the right wing to give Coastal an eight point lead with 3:40 remaining.
Blount closed out the game for the Chants in the final quarter by going 4-of-5 from the field and 2-of-2 from the free throw line to push the Chanticleers to its largest lead of 21 points with just under two minutes on the game clock.
The Chanticleers outscored the Eagles in the paint 46-20 while the host team held the advantage in fast break points at 25-11. Coastal proved itself as one of the top rebounding teams in the conference by pulling down 52 boards compared to 42 for Georgia Southern.
Coastal Carolina will close out its final regular season road trip in Atlanta, Ga. as the Chants travel to Georgia State on Saturday, Feb. 22 with the tip-off scheduled for 2 p.m. ET.
Courtesy – Coastal Carolina Athletics