Nov. 22, 2011
Menendez and Middleton post-game (AUDIO)
CULLOWHEE, N.C. -Western Carolina women's basketball (3-2) fell to visiting Coastal Carolina (4-0) 66-56 Tuesday in the Ramsey Center.
It is the second straight loss for the Catamounts in the young season. It is also Western Carolina's first loss at home, after start the year 2-0 in the Ramsey Center. Western Carolina played it close with Coastal Carolina for most of the first half.
The Catamounts led to start the game, off a pair of free throws by senior guard Kaila'Shea Menendez. Coastal Carolina tied the game when Shanika Maddox hit a lay-up to make the score 2-2. A free throw shot by Angelica Henry gave CCU a 3-2 led and they never trailed again.
The Catamounts did tie the game at 10, with 11:59 left in the first half, but Coastal Carolina quickly regained the lead. Western Carolina kept the game within four to six points until three plus minutes left in the first half. Coastal Carolina was leading by just four points, 22-18, when it went on a 16-2 run to lead by 15, 35-20, at the half.
Western Carolina played catch-up for all of the second half and even cut the Coastal Carolina lead to 10, 44-34, with 12:50 left in the game. But just as it did the whole game, Coastal Carolina had an answer to the Catamounts' attempted run. Shatia Cole drained a jumper to make it 46-34 and Western Carolina was never that close again until the waning seconds of the game.
For the second straight game, Western Carolina posted 20 or more turnovers, this time 22 against Coastal Carolina. And although Coastal Carolina had a game-high 25 turnovers, it also shot a scorching 50 percent from the field. Coastal Carolina also hit five three pointers in the game.
Western Carolina shot 39.6 percent from the field and hit just one three pointers. Also for the first time this season, the Catamounts were bested on the boards as Coastal Carolina out-rebounded WCU 33-25.
Sophomore guard Rena Wakama led Western Carolina with 11 points. Senior guard Kaila'Shea Menendezadded 10 points and remained perfect at the free throw line this season, going 4-for-4 from the charity stripe. Angelica Henry and Cole each had 16 points for Coastal Carolina.
Western Carolina heads back on the road on Saturday to face Tennessee Tech. Tip time is set for 8 p.m. EDT.