Nov. 23, 2011
CLEMSON, S.C - Chris Gradnigo tipped in the game-winning bucket as time expired giving Coastal Carolina a 60-59 victory over the Clemson Tigers, Tuesday Nov. 11 at Littlejohn Coliseum.
Gradnigo nailed a three-pointer to cut the Clemson lead to 59-58 with 1:02 remaining in the game. On the ensuing possession, Andre Young missed a layup and Sam McLaurin grabbed the defensive rebound with less than thirty seconds remaining. Gradnigo missed a jumper from inside the arc but Anthony Raffa grabbed the offensive board and called a timeout with seven second remaining. Gradnigo missed a jumper with less than five second remaining but followed his shot to tip in the game-winner as time expired.
"We were very fortunate in that situation that we were able to get the miss and put it back," said head coach Cliff Ellis, who was honored before the game for the 10 years he spent as the Clemson head coach from 1985-1994.Ellis still holds the record for the most ACC wins (59) and total wins (177) and many other record during his tenure as head coach. "It's just a great win for our team...with the LSU win and this win it says a lot about our team and program."
The win last Tuesday against LSU and tonight's win over Clemson mark the first time in school history that Coastal Carolina has recorded two wins in the same season over BSC school's.
After sloppy opening minutes, Coastal tied the game 21-21 at the 4:38 mark in the first half, but Clemson went on a 12-0 run over the next 2:23 as Andre Young scored nine of his team-high 20 points during that stretch. Raffa scored Coastal's final four points of the half to pull the Chants within eight at the break.
Coastal (5-0) took a temporary 41-40 lead at the 12:10 mark of the second half after completing a 16-7 run to open the period. Clemson answered with a layup by Young but the lead was short lived as Gradnigo put Coastal back up 43-42 on a deep jumper at the 11:00 minute mark. Kierre Grenwood knocked down two free throws at the 8:47 mark to give the Chants their biggest lead of the night, 45-42.
Clemson (2-2) countered with an 8-1 run to take a 50-46 lead with 5:25 remaining. Coastal was held without a field goal for 6:14 before McLaurin broke through with a layup to cut the Clemson deficit to two with 4:57 remaining. After a steal and layup by Raffa, the game was tied for the seventh time of the night at 50-50 with 4:40 left in the game.
The two teams exchanged baskets down the stretch until Tanner Smith hit a three-pointer, Clemson's last points of the night, to lead the Chants 59-55 with 1:46 remaining.
Gradnigo and Raffa each ended with 21 points apiece while Jon Pack had a game-high nine rebounds. Coastal Carolina shot a season-high 63.6 percent (14-of-22) from the field in the seocond half.
Coastal stays on the road over the Thanksgiving break before traveling to Miami, Fla., where they face Florida International Saturday Nov. 26 at 7:30 p.m.