CONWAY – Senior guard DJ Williams scored a game-high 29 points, including 23 in the second half, as No. 21 Coastal Carolina rallied from 10 points down to earn a 75-67 win over Texas State in a Sun Belt Conference game Thursday night at the HTC Center.
Williams, who was just four points shy of her career-high, was one of three players in double figures for the Chanticleers, who raised their overall record to 12-2 while improving to 2-1 in the conference. Texas State, which was led by sophomore Da’Nasia Hood’s 23 points, slipped to 7-7 on the season and 0-3 in the conference.
Coastal also got 15 points from senior guard Torrie Cash, including 11 in the final quarter, and 11 points from sophomore forward Aja Blount, who was coming off a 38-point performance the last time out. But it wasn’t easy.
After jumping out to an 11-2 lead at the outset, CCU let its advantage slip away in the second quarter. Texas State opened the second period with a 12-1 run and held a slim 26-23 lead at the break. The Bobcats stretched their lead to 10 at 33-23 before Williams went into action.
The flashy scorer hit for 20 points in the third quarter alone, including her team’s final 13 points in the period. She went 8-of-10 from the field in the quarter and seemed to will her team back into the lead by one at 51-50, after the period.
“I just wanted to do whatever it takes to win,” said Williams. “I don’t say much, but I tried to show my teammates how much I wanted to win.”
The Chants were only in front by three points at 62-59 with five minutes left in the game. From there, Cash made back-to-back three-pointers as CCU increased that slim lead to 12, its largest of the night, at 74-62 with less than a minute remaining.
Coastal ended up shooting 47 percent (27-of-57) for the game, in spite of making just 2-of-13 shots in the second quarter. As is usually the case, the Chants outrebounded their opponent. Senior center Naheria Hamilton grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds to give her team a 39-30 advantage on the boards.
The Chanticleers will be back in action at 2 p.m. Saturday when they host UT Arlington who is the Sun Belt leader at 3-0 and fresh off a win over Appalachian State. Coastal will then be on the road for the next three conference games.
Courtesy – Coastal Carolina Athletics