Feb. 16, 2013
CONWAY - Donta Harper scored 17 points and Gardner-Webb scored the final 9 points of the game to earn a 70-63 win over Coastal Carolina in a Big South Conference game Saturday at the HTC Center. It was the first home Conference loss of the season for the Chanticleers, who dropped to 12-12 overall and 7-6 in the league. Coastal had won eight-straight home games going into the contest.
Coastal was led by senior guard Anthony Raffa, who led all scorers with 22 points. Kierre Greenwood and Warren Gillis followed with 13 and 12 points, respectively. It was the 13th time Raffa has hit for more than 20 points this season.
Neither team led by more than seven points and there were 19 lead changes before the Bulldogs broke a 63-63 tie with 1:30 left and held the lead the rest of the way. Gardner-Webb went in front on a layup by Tyler Strange, who had just five points on the night. The Bulldogs closed the game with two more inside buckets and a free throw. Coastal went scoreless in the final 2:30 of the game.
For the game, Gardner-Webb held a large advantage at the charity stripe, where the Bulldogs converted 24-30 free throws. Harper made 13 of his 16 attempts.
Raffa had 16 of his points in the first half when Coastal held a 32-28 lead due to a 6-0 run to end the half. Neither team led by more than six points in the first period while the lead changed hands seven times. Raffa hit on four 3-pointers and a couple breakaway layups while Gardner-Webb went 12-12 from the free-throw line. Gardner-Webb's largest lead came at the end of the game.
Gardner-Webb also won the first meeting between these teams earlier in the season, 66-65. With the win, the Bulldogs improved to 16-11 overall and 7-6 in the Big South. The Bulldogs have now won six of their last seven games.
Coastal is back in action Tuesday at home against UNC Asheville. Game time is 7 p.m.