No. 1 GARDNER-WEBB 64, No. 5 COASTAL CAROLINA 56
HIGH POINT, N.C. (www.BigSouthSports.com) – A 14-2 second half run propels No. 1 Gardner-Webb past No. 5 Coastal Carolina, 64-56, in the semifinals of the 2010 Advance Auto Parts Women’s Basketball Championship, Saturday, March 13 at the Millis Center on the campus of High Point University. Gardner-Webb advances to the Championship game for the second-straight year and will play the winner of No. 2 Liberty/ No. 3 High Point Sunday afternoon at 2:00pm live on SportsSouth/MASN.
After a back and forth game, the Lady Bulldogs took control and went on a 14-2 second half run led by eight points from Big South Player of the Year Margaret Roundtree to pull out to a 50-39 lead with 4:21 remaining.
Gardner-Webb used a 10-0 run over the first seven minutes of the first half behind Dominique Hudson’s six points to take the early lead. Coastal Carolina countered with a 9-2 run of its own to cut the lead to 12-9 at the half way point of the opening half. Gardner-Webb’s Roundtree drained a jumper to extend the lead to 16-12 at the 7:24 mark, but the Chanticleers answered and took their first lead at 20-19 after two Sydnei Moss free throws with 2:05 remaining. The two teams traded baskets for the remainder of the opening stanza as Coastal took the 22-21 advantage in to intermission.
Coastal Carolina was led by Moss’ 13 points at the break, including 8-of-10 from the charity stripe. The Lady Bulldogs were paced by Dominique Hudson’s eight points. Both teams struggled from the floor in the first half as Gardner-Webb shot 29 percent from the floor on 8-of-28 shooting, while the Coastal posted a 17 percent clip on 4-of-29 shooting. Gardner-Webb enjoyed a 14-0 advantage on points in the paint, while the Chanticleers were productive from the foul line knocking down 10 free throws.
Both teams came out on fire in the second half shooting a combined 50 percent from the floor on 5-of-10 shooting. The game went back and forth for the first six minutes of the half as the game was tied at 30-30 after two Dominique Hudson free throws at the 14:10 mark. The second half saw seven lead changes with Coastal taking a 37-36 lead on Amanda Stull’s jumper at 9:21, but that would be CCU’s last lead as Gardner-Webb proved to much down the stretch.
Gardner-Webb was led by Roundtree’s 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Dominique Hudson added 16 points. Moss finished with 19 points for the Chanticleers including 10-12 from foul line. The Lady Bulldogs shot 37 percent from the floor (20-of-54), while Coastal Carolina knocked down 31 percent from the field (19-of-61) Gardner-Webb scored 16 points off turnovers compared to Coastal’s two.
Gardner-Webb head coach Rick Reeves will make his fifth appearance in the Championship game after reaching the finals three times with Liberty (1997-98-99). Gardner-Webb’s 28th victory of the season ties the Big South single-season record for most victories in a season.
Gardner-Webb Head Coach Rick Reeves
“First off, I would like to tell you all how much respect I have for Coach LeForce, he is a great coach and great friend. This whole League is filled with great coaches. Our kids were resilient today and we played very hard. I am very proud of them and am proud of how we played offensively.”
Coastal Carolina Head Coach Allen LeForce
“We played very well today. There was a stretch in the first half and stretch in the second half where we couldn’t score and that hurt us. The out-scored us in the paint, but we didn’t quit and I am very proud of our players.”