Nov. 23, 2009
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - The Coastal Carolina University men's basketball team (4-1) shot a sizzling 27-of-32 from the free-throw line and outscored Indiana State (3-2) 43-29 in the second half for a 77-62 win Nov. 23 in the consolation round of the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off in Bowling Green, Ky.
The Chanticleers were flirting with the school's free-throw percentage record, hitting their first 16 of the game and making 24 of their first 25 freebies. Redshirt-senior Joseph Harris (Lejeune, N.C./Lejeune) made 13-of-14 free throws, while redshirt-junior Chad Gray (Kingstree, S.C./South Carolina) was 6-of-7.
The Chants jumped out to an 11-5 lead in the first four-and-a-half minutes on a jumper from redshirt-freshman Sam McLaurin (Havana, Fla./East Gadsden). Coastal Carolina kept the lead for most of the first half by going 14-of-14 from the free-throw line and forcing 10 Sycamore turnovers. Indiana State would battle back and take a 25-23 lead at 3:59 on a Jordan Printy jumper, but Coastal would take the lead for good at 2:25 on a three from redshirt-senior Logan Johnson (Knoxville, Tenn./South Doyle). Coastal took a 34-28 lead on two free throws from freshman Kierre Greenwood (Cincinnati, Ohio/New Creations (Ind.)), but a Printy three with eight seconds left cut the Chant lead to 34-33 at the break.
Senior Mario Edwards (Massillon, Ohio/Chipola J.C.) led Coastal with nine first-half points, while Harris and Greenwood had eight points apiece. Four different Sycamores had five points apiece in the first 20 minutes.
A 7-0 spurt by the Chants started the second half, as Harris' first career three-pointer made it 42-33 at the 17:49 mark. Indiana State cut the lead to 42-38 on a Dwayne Lathan three at 16:40, but the Chants would stretch the lead to double digits (50-39) on two Harris free throws. Greenwood's three-point play at 11:43 made it 55-41 Coastal. The Chants withstood an Indiana State run, stretching the lead to 16 points (66-50) on a Johnson three at 5:51. Coastal would lead by as much as 19 points on a Gray dunk, as the Chants won their third game in a row and improve to 4-1 for the first time since 1993-94.
Harris had his fourth double-double of the season, scoring 22 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Greenwood had a season-high 17 points to go along with four steals. Gray and Edwards had 14 points apiece. For Indiana State, Lathan had 14 points, while Harry Marshall added 11.
Coastal shot 44.2 percent from the field for the game, compared to 39.6 percent for the Sycamores. The Chants forced 18 turnovers and had 10 steals in the contest.
Coastal Carolina wraps up the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off Tuesday, Nov. 24 against Cal State Northridge. Tipoff is at 4:30 p.m. CST (5:30 p.m. EST) in Bowling Green, Ky.