ASHEVILLE, N.C. Coastal Carolina got solid performances from forwards Moses Sonko (E. Greenwich, R.I./Classical) and Joseph Harris (Lejeune, N.C./Lejeune) in earning its first road win of the season, getting a 68-60 Big South Conference victory at UNC Asheville, Jan. 8. With its fourth consecutive win as well as their fourth straight win in the series, the Chanticleers advances to 8-6 on the year and 2-0 in Big South play, while the Bulldogs drop to 5-11 and 1-1 in league action.
Coastal got the first five points of the game, but UNCA answered with the next four. However, Coastal went on a 7-0 run the next three minutes to stretch the lead to 12-4 with 13:29 to play in the first half. UNCA trimmed the lead to three at 14-11, but Coastal made another surge, this time 9-2 to get its biggest lead of the game at 23-13 with 7:51 to go in the first. The Bulldogs went on a 10-0 run over the next two minutes to tie the game at 23, but Coastal re-took the lead and eventually went into the halftime intermission with a 34-30 lead.
After trading baskets early in the second half, UNC Asheville got its first lead of the game on a layup by K.J. Garland to take a 39-38 lead with 15:09 remaining. But that was the only lead that the Bulldogs would have in the game, as Coastal reeled off the next five points to take a 43-39 lead with 13:41 to go. The Bulldogs would close the lead to one at 52-51 with 6:58 to go, but a three-pointer on the next possession by Joshua Mack (Hopkinsville, Ky/University Heights) stretched the lead back to four and Harris' jumper made it a six-point margin with less than five minutes to play. UNCA got as close as three, but a conventional three-point play by Sonko with 1:28 to play made it a two-possession game at 62-56. Coastal knocked down six of its seven free throws in the closing seconds to seal the 68-60 win.
CCU hit on 47.3 percent (26-for-55) of its shots from the floor, while UNCA hit just 41.0 percent (25-for-61) from the field. Though being outrebounded 37-34, Coastal made the difference at the free throw line, hitting 11-for-16 from the charity stripe as compared to UNCA's 6-for-10.
Sonko finished the contest with a game-high 17 points on 8-for-13 shooting and added four rebounds and one block. Harris posted his fourth double-double of the year with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Mack had 16 points, including 4-for-7 from the three-point arc. Sean Smith led UNCA with 14 points, while Vincent James and K.J. Garland had 11 and 10 points, respectively.
CCU returns home for a non-conference matchup with Savannah State, Jan. 10. Tipoff at Kimbel Arena is set for 7 p.m.