• Cameron K. Rohatgi

Blount shines as Coastal Women’s Basketball loses in final seconds to App State

Coastal Carolina women’s basketball looked to get revenge against their conference rival, Appalachian State, in a rematch of their loss on Wednesday, Jan. 26.

The major difference early in the night for the Chants was their paint presence. Throughout the first half, the team made it a priority to get the ball to senior forward Aja Blount in the paint. Blount scored a game-high 27 points on 50% shooting from the field to go along with a game-high of 11 rebounds.

With their size advantage and stifling zone defense, the Chants forced App State to shoot three-pointers early and often, leading to many missed shots. Coastal’s defense led the way as the Chants were up 18-14 at the end of the first quarter.

The domination on both ends continued into the second quarter as the Chants took a 32-20 lead midway through the quarter. App State was then found sleeping on an inbound pass from the sideline, with Kalaya Buggs finding Savannah Dews open in the paint to take a 38-26 lead. The first half ended with freshman guard Buggs hitting a huge three-pointer, followed by the tough defense.

App State started the second half with multiple defensive strategies, including a full-court press which did not phase the women in teal. The Chants continued to move the ball well and took their biggest lead of the game at the end of the third quarter with the score being 61-46.

The Mountaineers were aggressive during the fourth quarter with offensive rebounds being a key to their comeback. They continued their defensive intensity into the final quarter, frustrating the Chants and leading to turnovers.

A layup by App State’s Janay Sanders tied the game at 68 with 11.7 seconds left. The Mountaineer’s half-court trap led to a jump ball with possession in their favor. Sanders then hit a tough floater in the paint to take a 70-68 lead, followed by the Chants unable to get a final shot off.

One of the main differences in the game was the contrast in three-point shooting with App State making seven more shots from behind the arc.

The Chanticleers look to bounce back in their next game against conference foe Texas State on Saturday, Feb. 5 at 3:00 p.m.