Coastal Carolina women fall on the road at Georgia Southern

(Bob McCool / CCU Athletics)
Published: Feb. 19, 2023 at 10:21 AM EST
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STATESBORO, Ga. – Aja Blount recorded her seventh double-double of the season, but the Coastal Carolina women’s basketball team fell 75-66 to the Georgia Southern Eagles in Statesboro, Ga., on Saturday afternoon in the final road game of the 2022-23 season. With the loss, the Chanticleers fell to 12-15 overall and 7-9 in Sun Belt action, while the Eagles improved to 18-7 on the season and 10-6 in league play with the win.

Coastal’s Blount scored a game-high 20 points to lead three Chants in double-digit scoring, as Deaja Richardson and Arin Freeman chipped in with 16 and 13 points, respectively. Blount also grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds to record her seventh double-double of the year and the 25th of her career.

As a team, CCU outshot the home team 41.7 percent to 41.3 percent from the floor but lost the rebounding battle at 42-38.

Georgia Southern was led by Ja’nya Love-Hill and Le’Andrea Gillis with 16 and 15 points, respectively, while the Eagles’ leading scorer Terren Ward added six points in 14 minutes. Ward led the team with seven rebounds while Constance Thomas aided with five boards for Georgia Southern.

In the opening quarter, the Eagles raced out to a 10-0 advantage before the Chanticleers cut into the lead with five quick points off a three-pointer by Miriam Recarte (9 points) and a layup by Blount to make it 10-5. The two teams traded the next 20 points with Coastal Carolina scoring the final four points on layups by Blount and Richardson, as the Chants battled back to trail by just three at 19-16. However, the Eagles closed the first-period scoring with a 9-1 run to lead 28-17 at the end of the quarter.

Both teams went ice cold in the second quarter, as Coastal was 4-of-14 from the field and GS was 3-of-14. Georgia Southern opened the scoring with a 5-0 surge to take a 33-17 advantage before the Chanticleers answered with an 8-2 burst to cut the lead to 10 at 35-25, highlighted by four points by Blount. The Eagles’ Ward finished the scoring for the home team with a pull-up jumper for the 37-25 advantage. Coastal found its final point of the first half as Freeman made 1-of-2 from the free throw line to trail 37-26 at the halftime intermission.

Coastal Carolina refused to go away and knotted the contest up at 39-39 halfway through the third quarter, as the Chanticleers opened the period with a 13-2 run, ignited by a pair of jump shots by Blount and topped off by a turnaround jumper by Freeman. But the Chants could not quite take the lead, as the Eagles responded with a 12-3 run to close out the scoring in the third period and lead by nine points at 51-42.

With 10 minutes left to play in regulation, Coastal’s Recarte started the fourth-quarter scoring with her second long-range three-point jumper of the game only to see the Eagles answer with five quick points to lead 56-45. CCU answered with five unanswered points on a Richardson three-pointer and a layup by Freeman to close the gap to six at 56-50. However, the homestanding Eagles increased their lead to 10 points at 60-50 on a pair of Georgia Southern layups.

Despite trailing by 10 points, Coastal Carolina closed the deficit to three points at 62-59 with a 9-2 surge, sparked by a Blount free throw and capped by a long-range three-point jumper from the top of the key by Blount. The Eagles followed up with their own 9-2 run to push their lead back to 10 points at 71-61. CCU’s final points came by way of Recarte’s final three-pointer of the day and a pair of free throws by Freeman, while Georgia Southern made 4-of-6 from the charity stripe down the stretch for the final margin of 75-66.

Coastal Carolina will return home, as the Chanticleers will wrap up the regular season at home versus the Georgia State Panthers on Wednesday, Feb. 22, and ODU on Friday, Feb. 24, with the tip-off scheduled at 6 p.m. ET on both nights.