Little Rock moves to 3-0 in Sun Belt with win over Coastal Carolina

From Little Rock Sports
Evan Drexler, Associate Director of Communications

CONWAY, S.C. – Kaitlyn Pratt tied a career high with 24 points, Monique Townson set a new career high with 16 and the Little Rock women’s basketball team held on for a 74-66 victory over Coastal Carolina at the HTC Center on Thursday night.

Pratt scored 14 points in the third quarter to help Little Rock (9-6, 3-0 Sun Belt Conference) retake the lead for good after Coastal Carolina (5-8, 0-3) controlled the second quarter and took a 35-33 lead into halftime. The Trojans outscored the Chanticleers 22-14 in the third quarter and edged them 19-17 in the fourth quarter to earn the 8-point winASN-A-State-Sun-Belt-Red-BG

The contest was the first-ever meeting between the two teams and the first-ever home Sun Belt Conference game for the Chanticleers.

Besides Pratt’s 24 points, the senior nearly grabbed a double-double with nine rebounds. Townson added four assists and two steals to her career scoring night and was 6 of 6 from the free-throw line, and Kyra Collier also came up just short of a double-double with 9 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Sharde’ Collins scored 13 points and was clutch in the fourth quarter with two 3-pointers that gave Little Rock breathing room.

Little Rock scored on its first three possessions to take a 7-0 lead early, and two Townson 3-pointers helped the Trojans hold a 20-12 edge at the end of the first quarter.

But in the second, Coastal’s offense caught fire. The Chanticleers shot 62.5 percent from the field in the quarter including a streak of seven straight made field goals to outscore the Trojans 23-13 in the period. That was enough to give the home team a 35-33 edge at halftime.

That’s when Pratt awoke. The senior scored Little Rock’s first 8 points of the third quarter, helping them overtake Coastal briefly. Pratt then sat with foul trouble as CCU regained a lead, but Pratt came back into the game and scored 6 more points to help Little Rock hold a 55-49 edge through 30 minutes.

In the fourth, though, the Chants made one last push. They went on a 7-0 run early in the quarter that included five free throws and a layup. That made it 57-56 Little Rock with six minutes to play. But over the final six minutes, the Trojans outscored the Chants 17-10. Little Rock finished the game hitting its last four field goals including a Collins 3-pointer and a Ronjanae DeGray jumper from the free-throw line that made it 72-64 with 35 seconds left.

Carolee Dillard played her highest minute total of the season with 20 as Ronjanae DeGray was in foul trouble throughout, and Dillard added 6 points on 3-of-4 shooting along with six rebounds. Collins and Collier had four assists each, and Dillard and Pratt each got a block. Of Pratt’s nine rebounds, eight were on the offensive end.

The Trojans stay on the road for their next game, traveling to Boone, N.C., for a Saturday game at Appalachian State. Tipoff is set for 12 p.m. central.

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