Myrtle Beach, S.C. – Senior guard DJ Williams had game-highs of 27 points and nine rebounds, as Coastal Carolina used a 19-0 run to begin the second half and coasted to an easy 76-65 win over Elon University Thursday night in the Carolinas College Challenge at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.
The win lifts the Chanticleers to a school-record start of 9-1 on the season with five consecutive victories, while Elon slips to 4-6 on the year.
Williams, who reached the 20-point plateau in a game for the 19th time in her career, checked all the boxes on the stat sheet, adding five assists while hitting nearly 50 percent from the field and making 10-of-12 free throws. Williams got scoring support from senior center Naheria Hamilton and sophomore forward Aja Blount, who chipped in with 14 and 12 points, respectively.
Williams was instrumental in Coastal scoring the first 19 points of the second half when she had five points, while senior sharp-shooter Caitlin Roche scored all eight of her points. Coastal continued its strong play from there, erasing any doubt about the outcome. CCU outscored Elon in the third quarter 25-5, to take a 23-point advantage at 59-36. The Chanticleers held the Phoenix without a field goal for more than nine minutes and out-rebounded Elon in the period 14-3. Coastal stretched the lead out to 26 points when Hamilton sank a free throw early in the final period to make the score 62-36.
Elon finished the game with an 18-6 run to close the margin to just 11 points. Elon guards Brie Perpignan and Ariana Nance, along with forward Jaylon Powell, led the way with 10 points apiece.
“DJ is a team leader for us and tonight she was efficient in every aspect,” said Coastal head coach Jaida Williams. “When we are rebounding, we are at our best.”
Six Coastal players had four or more rebounds, including the front line of Hamilton, Blout, and forward Janae Camp, who combined to grab 20 missed shots. As a team, Coastal held a 41-33 advantage on the boards.
Williams had 14 of her points in the first half when Coastal jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead before Elon fought back to make it just a three-point advantage for the Chanticleers at the half at 34-31. Williams had the only three-pointer for her team in the first half, where Coastal got 11-of-13 field goals in the paint.
The Chanticleers finished with 40 points in the paint, which was reflected in their shooting 47 percent from the field (25-of-53). Coastal also converted on 23 of its 28 free throw attempts, including 11-of-12, as they pulled away in the second half.
Coastal will return to action on Sunday, Dec. 29 to host South Carolina State. Game time is set for 2 p.m. The Chanticleers will begin Sun Belt Conference play on the road at Troy on Jan. 2.
Courtesy: Coastal Carolina Athletics