Jan. 29, 2012
BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. - Anthony Raffa scored 24 of his career-high 32 points in the second stanza as Coastal Carolina rallied from a nine-point second half deficit to defeat Gardner-Webb 70-56 Saturday night at Paul Porter Arena.
The Runnin' Bulldogs opened the second half with three field goals to build their largest lead of the game, 34-25 with 16:13 on the clock. Coastal would go on a 12-0 run over the next 3:30 minutes to take its first lead since the 5:42 marks of the first half. Kierre Greenwood made a jumper to start the run followed by a 3-pointer from Chris Gradnigo to pull the Chants within four. Raffa would then score the next 11 points capping off a 16-1 run to give Coastal a 41-35 lead with 11:14.
After being held without a field goal for over five minutes, Gardner-Webb would get a 3-pointer from Kevin Hartley to break the drought. Raffa would answer with another trey ball, scoring 14 straight points for the for the Chanticleer offense.
Gardner-Webb (10-13, 5-6) would get within two points on a Max Landis 3-pointer but that is closest it would get as Raffa completed a four-point play assisted by Greenwood who had a career-high 10 dimes in addition to eight rebounds and six points.
Coastal trailed 6-0 to start the game but Raffa hit his first of four 3-pointers to spark a 13-5 rally for the Chants, taking their first lead, 13-11 at the 10:06 mark on a layup from Raffa. Coastal extended its lead to four on a layup from Sam McLaurin with 7:24 left in the half. Gardner-Webb would counter with a 15-7 run to close the half while holding the Chants scoreless for a four minute stretch to lead at the break 28-24.
Coastal (16-5, 9-2) outrebounded the Runnin' Bulldogs 43-35 while holding them to 31.3 percent (20-of-64) from the field. The Chanticleers entered the game ranked fourth in the NCAA in field goal percentage (50.2%) opened the second period making seven of their first 11 attempts (63.6%) to finish at a 46.4 clip.
Sam McLaurin led the team with 10 rebounds while adding eight points and three blocked shots. McLaurin now ranks 14th in Big South history with 146 career blocked shots.
Gradnigo totaled 15 points on 6-of-10 from the field and added nine boards to help Coastal win its fourth conference road game.
Coastal Carolina returns home for three-straight home games beginning Saturday, Feb. 4 against Charleston Southern. Tipoff in Kimbel Arena is set for 2:00 p.m. and will be televised live on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN).