Conway, SC (A-State) – The Arkansas State women’s basketball team suffered a heartbreaking 57-55 loss to Costal Carolina at the HTC Center Saturday afternoon.
A-State (3-13, 1-3) held a nine point lead at the end of the third quarter, but the Chanticleers outscored the Red Wolves 15-4 over the final 10 minutes. Lauren Bradshaw scored on a layup with 5:56 to go in the game to give her team a 55-49 lead, but it would be the last points of the night for the Red Wolves.
Coastal Carolina (6-8, 1-3) took the lead on a free throw by DJ Williams with 1:56 to go in the game and then made a two point game when Alexis Robinson drained 1-of-2 free throws with 3.7 seconds remaining. A-State attempted to throw the ball long on the inbound pass, but it sailed long an into CCU’s hands as the game clock ran out.
On the prior possession A-State had grabbed a rebound off a Coastal Carolina miss and called timeout to advance the ball, but the inbound pass missed its mark and went out of bounds to give the ball back to the Chanticleers. Tahlon Hopkins committed foul on the ensuing inbounds pass that Robinson an opportunity to add to the lead.
“Commend that group that finished the game on the floor because they did just about everything that they could do and we played only three guards for almost the entire second half,” A-State head coach Brian Boyer said. “We were a lot better tonight than we were Thursday night. We rebounded the ball better and shot it better, but our turnover numbers got out of hand but I think that might be more of the fatigue factor there at the end.”
Dominique Oliver led the way for A-State with 11 points, while Hopkins added 10. Lauren Bradshaw led the way on the boards with 10 rebounds.
A-State struggled with Coastal Carolina’s ball pressure and committed 26 turnovers on the afternoon. Despite the miscues, A-State led for most of the night and had strong efforts from Brittany Fowler and Payton Tennison who combined to 4-for-4 from beyond the arc in the third quarter.
“I’m proud of this team because that is a hard loss to swallow because of how we competed,” Boyer said. “Those kids out there played as hard as they could tonight.”
A-State closed out the first quarter on a 13-0 run and held the Chanticleers scoreless for the final 5:20 of the period to take a 17-8 lead. The Red Wolves limited Coastal Carolina opportunities to get second chance points by grabbing 19 defensive boards on the half and holding the opposition to just three offensive rebounds.
The Chanticleers held an early 8-4 lead after Arkansas State began the game just 1-for-9 from the field, but following the first quarter media timeout, the Red Wolves scored six straight points within a minute to take its first lead of the afternoon.
Ced Gibson led four Coastal Carolina players in double figures with 13 points, while Naheria Hamilton, Breelyn Blanding and Williams finished with 10 each.
Arkansas State returns to action Saturday, Jan. 14, with a 4 p.m. road game against Little Rock.