Chants win as Gibson sets milestone
CONWAY – Senior point guard Ced Gibson became the 14th student-athlete in Coastal Carolina women’s basketball history to reach 1,000 career points Thursday night as the Chanticleers topped visiting ULM, 75-48, at the HTC Center. Gibson, who transferred to Coastal after her freshman season at St. John’s, reached the milestone while playing just three seasons in a Chanticleer uniform.
Coastal improves to 11-15, 6-10 with the win and retains its hold on eighth place in the Sun Belt standings. ULM, meanwhile, falls to 5-21, 2-13 to remain at the bottom of the league standings.
Gibson’s 1,000th point came on a long jumper at the 7:22 mark of the fourth quarter. The senior opened the game with eight points in the first quarter on a pair of 3-pointers and a jumper seconds before the buzzer. She was held off the board until the fourth quarter, when she hit back-to-back jumpers to reach the milestone. Gibson closed the game with 14 points and five assists, her fourth straight game scoring in double figures and dishing out at least five helpers. She is now 11 assists away from tying Nikki Reddick for sixth all-time among Coastal’s assists leaders.
Alexis Robinson finished as the game’s leading scorer with 16 points, and added 12 rebounds for her second straight double-double, and fourth of the season. Kennedy Archer and Naheria Hamilton each contributed 11 points to round out Coastal’s double-digit scorers, and Rachael Gregory finished just shy of her second consecutive double-double after recording nine points and 11 rebounds.
Coastal matched its season high in assists with 20, set on Dec. 2 against Pfeiffer. Archer had six assists to complement Gibson’s five, and Robinson and Gregory each added three.
Coastal’s defense held ULM to shooting 33.3 percent from the field, including a 2-of-16 mark from beyond the arc. The Chants also tallied 12 steals and a trio of blocks.
Coastal got a quick start out of the gate, making its first eight shots from the field – including a pair of 3-pointers – and its lone free throw attempt to take an early 19-8 lead. The Chants’ advantage continued to build from there, as Coastal outscored ULM 13-5 over the final 4:45 of the quarter, and closed the frame shooting just under 78 percent from the floor.
The scoring dried up for both sides to start the second quarter, as five minutes into the frame only three points had been scored on a ULM free throw and Naheria Hamilton layup. The Chanticleer offense got back on track toward the end of the quarter, however, scoring the final eight points before halftime to take a 45-19 lead into the locker room. Coastal’s defense held ULM to shooting 2-of-9 from the floor in the second quarter, and forced 10 Warhawk turnovers.
Coastal’s 45 first-half points and ULM’s 19 first-half points were both season highs and lows, respectively, for the Chants.
The Chants’ field goal shooting dropped to 37 percent in the second half, and they only outscored ULM by one point over the final 20 minutes, but the Warhawks managed to bring the deficit under 20 only once in the half. Alexis Collins had 10 points for ULM in the first half, but managed just two in the second as the Chants kept her in check. Gabriella Cortez picked up the slack, scoring nine points over the third and fourth quarters to finish the game with 11.
Coastal returns to the HTC Center Saturday afternoon to play its final home game of the season against Louisiana. The Chants and Ragin’ Cajuns tip at 1 p.m., and following the game Coastal will honor the members of its senior class.