Feb. 9, 2012
CONWAY - Senior guard Shay Shine scored a season-high 24 points and freshman guard Devante Wallace added 16 as High Point survived a late rally from Coastal Carolina to escape with a 70-65 win Thursday at Kimbel Arena. It was only the second time all year that the Chanticleers have lost back-to-back games and the first back-to-back losses in league play since 2009.
The result left CCU at 17-7 overall and 10-4 in the Big South. High Point improved to 10-15 overall and 6-9 in conference.
The Panthers' three-guard offense proved to be the difference. High Point made 11 of its 22 3-point attempts, tying the most CCU has allowed all year.
"They came in and imposed their will against us," said CCU head coach Cliff Ellis. "High Point came in and played with the 3-point shot and had the inside game to go with it. We just have to guard the 3-pointer better."
Shine and Wallace each made four long-range jumpers and the Panthers' high scorer on the year Nick Barbour added a couple more on his way to 14 points.
Coastal rallied from 11 points down with a 20-13 run and pulled to within 66-62 when Gradnigo scored on a tough layup with 1:16 remaining. The Chanticleers had a couple of chances to get even closer but missed their next three shots before Shine increased the margin with a pair of free throws. Barbour added a bucket to make it 70-62 before Greenwood hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Wallace and Shine had the hot hand from the start as they combined to score 22 of High Point's 33 points in the first half. High Point led at the break, 33-25.
After four early ties, the Panthers broke on top with a 16-6 run, punctuated by Wallace's 3-pointer that lifted the Panthers to a 29-19 lead with 7 minutes left in the period. They would lead the rest of the way. Coastal scored only six points in the rest of the period, and shot just 37 percent in the first half, including just 3-12 from 3-point range.
Gradnigo came off the bench with his usual hot hand, but after eight quick points he didn't score in the last 10 minutes of the first half.
For the game, Coastal hit just 7-26 from long range against the tough High Point zone, and just 4-14 in the second half.
"We just have no confidence in our outside game right now," said Ellis. "If teams are packing it in, we have to make those outside shots."
Coastal won the first contest between the two clubs, 55-52. This was High Point's first win in Conway since 2007.
Coastal travels to Rock Hill, S.C., to face the Winthrop Eagles on Saturday at 4 p.m.