MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - Senior Chloe Hamilton scored a career-high 21 points and the Butler women's basketball team took down Coastal Carolina in the first game of the Beach Ball Classic at Myrtle Beach. Freshman Sarah Hamm added 12 points and senior Alyssa Pittman scored 10.
Hamilton, mixing in mid-range jumpers and athletic drives to the hoop, had her career scoring performance on 7-for-13 shooting and 7-for-8 at the free throw line. She added seven rebounds and three assists.
"Chloe was the difference, offensively and defensively. Anytime Coastal made a run to cut into our lead, Chloe made a play," head coach Beth Couture said.
Butler led by as many as 13 in the second half and never trailed in the game's final 24 minutes. CCU did cut the lead to 59-55 with 4:34 left in the game, but a bucket by sophomore Becca Bornhorst and two Hamilton free throws put the Dawgs up 63-55.
Coastal pulled back to within 66-62, but was forced to foul and BU made 5 of 7 at the free throw line in the final 50 seconds.
"We made some mistakes that helped them make a comeback, and Coastal made some plays," Couture said. "But our kids kept their composure and always answered. I was pleased with our composure at the end of the game."
Most of the first half was close, but the Bulldogs closed with a 14-2 run to take the momentum at halftime. Butler trailed 26-24 late until a Hamm lay-up tied the game at the 3:16 mark. BU rolled with a 3-point play by Hamilton and a trey by Pittman. Freshman Jenna Cobb scored four points in the final 24 seconds to make it 38-28 at the half.
"The run at the end of the first half may have been the difference," Couture said. "We showed great energy and awareness to get that final bucket at the buzzer. If you break down the game, that might have been the difference."
Coastal (5-6) was led by Sydnei Moss with 20 points, seven rebounds and six steals. Olivia Irick added 12 points for the Chanticleers.
Butler had a 33-24 rebounding advantage but committed 25 turnovers. Butler shot 52.3 percent from the floor for the game, converting at least 50 percent in each half.
Butler (6-4) will continue its swing through Couture's home state at South Carolina Tuesday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m.