Jan. 12, 2011
Coastal Carolina (14-2, 5-0) vs. Winthrop (7-8, 3-2)
Thursday | 1.13.11 | 7:00 p.m.
Conway, S.C. | Kimbel Arena (1,039)
CONWAY, S.C. – The Coastal Carolina men’s basketball team returns home following a pair of road wins to host in-state rival Winthrop Thursday evening at 7 p.m. from Kimbel Arena.
Coastal Carolina (14-2, 5-0) will be in search of a school-record 13th win Thursday night when the Chants face the Eagles. The Chants, owners of the sixth-longest active winning streak in the NCAA, are looking to surpass the previous school record of 12 consecutive wins set in both the 2005-06 and 2009-10 seasons.
The Chants enter the week coming off a 70-67 win Saturday at Liberty to take over sole possession of first place in the Big South Conference standings. With the win, the Chants moved up to No. 8 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll and earned one vote in this week’s Associated Press Top-25 Poll.
Sophomore guard Kierre Greenwood scored a team-high 15 points against Liberty to lead a quartet of Chants in double figures. Desmond Holloway added 14 points and six rebounds and has scored in double figures in all of the Chants’ games thus far this season.
Chad Gray poured in 12 points and five rebounds, while Mike Holmes finished with 11 points and seven rebounds to help head coach Cliff Ellis secure his 600th career NCAA Division I victory. Ellis, who is in his fourth season at Coastal, is just the 26th coach in NCAA history with 600 Division I victories.
Holloway continues to serve as the offensive catalyst for the Chanticleers and is first on the team and second in the Big South with 19.0 points per game. The Indianapolis, Ind., native is also second on the team and eighth in the conference with 6.6 rebounds per game and is one of only two players in the league to rank in the top-10 in both scoring and rebounding.
Gray stands third on the team and 16th in the conference with 12.4 points per game and third on the team and 11th in the league with 5.8 rebounds per game. Greenwood adds 9.4 points per game and is sixth in the Big South with 3.44 assists per game. Sophomore Sam McLaurin ranks second in the conference with 1.47 blocked shots per game.
Winthrop enters Thursday with a 7-8 overall record and a 3-2 mark inside the Big South following its 63-48 home win over Gardner-Webb on Saturday. The Eagles improved to 5-1 at home with the win, but are just 2-4 away from home and have not won on the road since winning 88-82 in overtime at VMI on Dec. 2. The Eagles have struggled to score of late and are averaging just 62.9 points per game and rank eighth in the Big South in scoring offense. In fact, Winthrop has failed to score more than 67 points in its last five games.
Individually, sophomore guard Robbie Dreher leads the team with 13.5 points per game and ranks 12th in the Big South. Dreher is also one of the top three-point shooters in the league and is hitting 41.9 percent of his three-pointers. Junior guard Andre Jones is second on the team and 19th in the conference with 11.2 points per game. Junior forward George Valentine tops the Eagles with 7.0 rebounds per game and ranks seventh in the Big South.
Coastal and Winthrop will be meeting on the hardwood for the 69th time when the two teams tipoff Thursday evening in Conway. Coastal owns a 35-33 record against Winthrop in the all-time series that dates back to the 1978-79 season. Winthrop, however, has won two straight and three of the last four. Last season, Winthrop beat Coastal on its own floor and then knocked the top-seeded Chants from the Big South Tournament with a win in the championship game. Coastal has been very successful against the Eagles in games played at Kimbel Arena. In fact, the Chants are 24-11 all-time at home against Winthrop and have won three of the last four meetings.