Coastal Carolina women fall at Troy 91-80 in Sun Belt opener
TROY, Ala. – Freshman guard Angie Juste-Jean recorded her first career double-double as the Coastal Carolina women’s basketball team fell 91-80 to Troy in Troy, Ala., Thursday evening in the Sun Belt Conference opener for both teams.
With the loss, the Chanticleers fall to 10-2 on the year and 0-1 in the Sun Belt, while the Trojans improved to 10-5 overall and 1-0 in conference play with the win.
Juste-Jean lead all scorers with a career-high 23 points while grabbing 10 rebounds to record her first career double-double at Coastal Carolina, while Aja Blount and Arin Freeman added 18 and 13 points, respectively. Troy saw all eight players hit the scoring column, as Amber Leggett (17 points) led six Trojans in double-digit scoring. Leggett was helped on the offensive end by Tiyah Johnson and Za’Nautica Downs with 14 points each, along with Felmas Koranga (12 points), Jasmine Robinson (11 points), and Jhileiya Dunlap (10 points).
In the opening quarter, Coastal jumped out to 27-18 advantage on 12 points by Juste-Jean who was 5-of-6 from the field including 2-of-2 from three-point range. After the Trojans won the opening tip and the teams trading baskets early, Juste-Jean put CCU in front 13-11 on back-to-back three-point shots as the Chants took control in the opening quarter.
Troy battled back into the game in the second quarter, cutting the Chanticleers’ lead to 47-44 at the intermission. The Trojans went to a pressing defense to speed up the younger Coastal squad and forced 13 CCU second-quarter turnovers, while also getting to the free-throw line 16 times. Janeen Camp recorded all nine of her points in the second quarter, before getting into foul trouble and going to the bench. A Freeman’s pull-up jumper gave the Chants their largest lead at 31-21 just before the Trojans adjusted their defense.
After the break, Blount hit her third-straight three-pointer to push the Chanticleers’ lead to 50-44 before Troy scored 10 straight points to take its first lead since the six-minute mark in the first quarter. The 10-0 run was sparked by back-to-back three-pointers from Johnson and followed by 4-of-4 free throws by Koranga which pushed the home team in front at 54-50.
The Chanticleers went to their press in the final quarter as the Trojans opened a 14-point lead at 77-63 with 6:41 left to play. Coastal pulled to within seven points at 79-72 as Blount scored on a second-chance basket with Blayre Shultz finding her teammate open in the post. Troy closed out the contest by going 6-of-6 from the free-throw line for the final 11-point margin.
CCU outrebounded the host Trojans 44-41 but was outdone by 30 turnovers compared to 19 for the home team. Troy shot 75 percent from the free-throw line going 30-of-40, while the Chanticleers finished with 70.6 percent on 12-of-17 from the charity stripe.
The Coastal Carolina women’s basketball team will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 1, in Mobile, Ala., as the Chants will take on South Alabama. The opening tip is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET.