By: Mike Hammett/ULM Athletics
CONWAY, S.C. – A 16-2 third quarter run sparked by freshman Gara Beth Self got the ULM women’s basketball team back in the game, but Coastal Carolina responded with their own 20-2 spurt, as the Chanticleers won their ninth straight game, 88-69, Thursday night at the HTC Center.
“I thought we played a really good quarter and a half,” ULM head coach Brooks Donald Williams said. “We made a really good run on a very, very good and talented team. They’re very powerful offensively and defensively and are one of the top teams in our league. I thought, at times during the game, we competed very well.”
Self poured in a career-high 28 points, knocking down five 3-pointers. She scored 15 of her 28 points in the third quarter.
“I thought she played with a lot of fight tonight and was able to get to the rim at will,” Williams said. “She made some really good decisions offensively. She got some points out of her defense as well. I think the main thing is she just showed no fear coming into here. She got into foul trouble early and came back and responded from having some challenges early and took it right to them.”
Coastal started hot from the field, hitting 57% of their first quarter shots and built a 24-11 lead after a quarter. The Chanticleers pushed the lead to as much as 21 in the second quarter at 39-18 on a 3-pointer by Torrie Cash. The Warhawks started chipping away at the lead, as Amber Thompson knocked down a pair of jumpers, Maddi Gatte buried a shot from the win, and Gara Beth Self hit her first 3-pointer of the night. ULM trailed by 15 at halftime, 44-29.
The Warhawks made their move in the third quarter. Coastal regained a 20-point lead at 57-37 with 5:43 left in the quarter on a layup by Naheria Hamilton. The Warhawks started to fight their way back when Self drained a trey. After a Coastal turnover, Self found Whitney Goins, who knocked down a 3-pointer to cut the gap to 14 and forced a Coastal timeout.
ULM kept the run rolling out of the timeout. Thompson hit a pair of free throws and Self buried another from long distance. Goins got to the rim and hit a scoop shot, and Self drained her fourth trey of the night and third of the quarter as ULM pulled within six at 59-53 with 1:22 left in the quarter.
Coastal, the Sun Belt Conference’s co-leader with Troy, answered in the fashion of a first-place team. Aja Blount knocked down a shot from the top of the key to end the third quarter, sparking a 20-2 run by the Chanticleers. ULM did not make another field goal until Self hit a jumper on the wing to cut the gap to 79-57 with 4:19 remaining. Self picked up a layup and a 3-pointer in the final seconds to cap her night with a career-high 28 points.
Goins added 14 points while Thompson had 10 for ULM. Kierra Crockett had 10 rebounds.
“I thought we asked (Goins) to do a lot of different things today,” Williams said. “She had to play several different positions. I thought she responded really well and was able to get some point production out of it.”
Hamilton paced Coastal Carolina with a career-high 25 points and 14 rebounds, while Cash matched a career-high with 23 points and hit 5-of-7 3-pointers. Blount came off the bench and scored 17 points, while the Sun Belt’s leading scorer, D.J. Williams, was limited to 12 points, but picked up her fourth consecutive double-double with 10 assists.
ULM plays its final road game of the 2019-20 season at 1 p.m. Saturday at Appalachian State. Links to live video, audio and stats are available at ULMWarhawks.com.