Coastal Carolina women defeat Georgia State, win third straight SBC contest
ATLANTA, Ga. – Coastal Carolina women’s basketball forward Aja Blount led four Chanticleers in double-digit scoring as the Chants defeated the Georgia State Panthers 68-57 in Atlanta, Ga., on Thursday night. With the win, the Chants improved to 9-9 overall and 4-3 in Sun Belt play, while the Panthers dropped to 8-12 on the season and 2-5 in league play.
The Chanticleers win gives Coastal its first Sun Belt Conference three-game winning streak since they won 10 straight in 2019-20. The 4-3 conference record also marks the first time CCU has been above .500 in league play since the 2019-20 season.
Coastal’s Blount recorded a team-high 19 points, while Deaja Richardson, Angie Juste-Jean and Miriam Recarte chipped in with 12, 12, and 10 points, respectively. Helena Delaruelle and Juste-Jean tied with a team-high five rebounds, while Richardson had a team-high five assists.
As a team, Coastal was 23-of-50 from the floor for a 46.0 shooting percentage, including 7-of-19 from behind the three-point arc. The Chants were outrebounded 35-33 but finished 15-of-19 from the free throw line, including a perfect 7-of-7 by Blount.
Georgia State was led by Mikyla Tolivert with a game-high 26 points, while Zay Dyer added 10 points. Dyer led the Panthers with seven rebounds, while Deasia Merrill and Tolivert each grabbed six boards for the home team.
The Coastal defense held the Panthers to just 21-of-60 (35 percent) from the field, including just 1-of-12 from three-point range.
GSU jumped out to the early lead at 2-0 as Tolivert hit a driving layup off the opening tip. Coastal answered with back-to-back baskets by Blount and Anaya Barney for a 5-2 advantage. However, the Panthers used a 6-2 surge to take an 8-7 lead only to see the visiting team retake the lead at 14-9 with a 7-1 run, highlighted by back-to-back baskets by Recarte.
The two teams traded driving layups and allowed the Chanticleers to maintain a five-point margin at 16-11 before the Panthers cut the lead to two at 16-14 as Dyer hit a jumper and Merrill went 1-of-2 from the free throw line. CCU’s Juste-Jean pushed the lead back to five points at 19-14 with her first three-pointer of the game. The first period ended with Coastal holding on to a 21-18 advantage.
Coastal Carolina began the second quarter with a 6-2 burst sparked by a Richardson layup and topped off by a driving layup by Juste-Jean for a 27-20 lead with 7:27 left until the intermission. Georgia State answered with a 7-1 run to cut the visitor’s advantage to 28-27 before Delaruelle hit a jump shot to keep Coastal in front by three at 30-27.
The Panthers closed the second period with an 8-0 run to take a 35-30 lead at the halftime intermission, as Tolivert was 4-of-4 from the free throw line to close out the first-half action.
Coastal opened the third quarter with an 11-4 burst to retake the lead at 41-39, jump-started by a layup by Richardson and capped by six consecutive free throws by Blount. After seeing the Panthers even it up off a Tolivert layup, the Chanticleers’ Juste-Jean and Freeman hit a pair of free throws to give CCU a 45-41 advantage. However, the homestanding Panthers evened the game up once again on four points by Tolivert.
CCU’s Richardson hit a three-point jump shot to give the visitors from Conway, S.C., the lead for good at 48-45. After GSU’s Dyer hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to two, the Chants’ Arielle-Vadrelle Belinga closed out the third quarter scoring by hitting 1-of-2 from the free throw line for a 52-49 lead.
With 10 minutes left to play in regulation, Coastal’s Juste-Jean opened the fourth-quarter scoring with a layup to push the lead to 54-49 for the visitors. After a pair of free throws by GSU’s Tolivert, CCU answered with an old-fashioned three-point play as Blount hit a driving layup and sunk the and-1 free throw to give the Chants a 57-51 advantage.
Coastal continued the scoring run as Recarte and Blount hit back-to-back baskets to give the Chanticleers a 61-51 advantage with 4:39 left to play. After the two teams traded baskets, CCU closed out the scoring with baskets by Blount and Richardson for the final margin of 68-57.
Coastal Carolina will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 21, as the Chanticleers will travel to Boone, N.C., for a matchup with Appalachian State. The opening tip is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET.
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