CONWAY, S.C. – Junior forward Aja Blount scored a team-high 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds as Coastal Carolina routed South Carolina State, 88-56, Saturday at the HTC Center in the season-opener for both teams.
Blount, the team’s top returning scorer at 15.0 points a game last season and a pre-season All-Sun Belt pick, was one of five Chanticleers to hit for double figures. Junior forward Janeen Camp and junior guard Tyra Brown each had 15 points while guards Alana Denson and Kaylin West added 14 and 12 points, respectively. Senior guard Heniaya Moton had a game-high 28 points for SC State.
Blount and West combined for a 10-0 run early in the second half to put the game out of reach, 56-29. Coastal reached its largest lead at the game’s end on a layup by reserve guard Brali Simmons in the final minute. Head coach Jaida Williams played 11 players, with 10 finding the scoring column.
Blount, who played just 30 minutes, got her points on 6-of-9 shooting from close range and made 5-of-6 free throws. Overall, Coastal made half of its shots (34-of-68) and out-rebounded SC State, 37-24. The Chanticleers also hit on 14-of-21 free throws, including 10-of-13 in the first quarter.
Coastal jumped in front quickly, riding success from the charity stripe, to help build a 24-9 lead at the end of the first period. Blount had nine of her points by halftime when Coastal held a 44-27 advantage. She had six points in a 14-2 run that put the Chanticleers in front 38-13 midway through the second quarter. Moton had 15 of SC State’s 27 points at the break.
Coastal will travel to play at NC State on Dec. 6 before returning home on Dec. 11 to host UNC Pembroke for the first game of the three-game homestand.