A 10-0 surge put the Phoenix up 23-14 with 5:36 left before intermission. Butlers old-fashioned three-point play at the 3:39 mark ended an 8:26 scoreless stretch for Coastal Carolina. It also ignited a 14-4 spurt which granted the Chanticleers a 28-27 edge with 10 seconds remaining in the period. However, a Quinton McCleod jumper beat the buzzer to put the Phoenix back on top 29-28 at the break.
A three-point bomb by Scottie Rice marked the fourth lead change of the game and gave the Phoenix the lead for good at 43-41 with 12:50 left to play. Elon maintained a one-to-seven-point edge throughout the remainder of the contest. Colin Stevens pulled the Chanticleers within 61-60 with 10 seconds to play, but a pair of Steven Harvin free throws with six ticks left iced the outcome for the Phoenix.
In addition to Gamble, Elon was keyed by Rice (12 points, five assists, two steals), Harvin (11 points, five assists) and Marsh (10 points). Coastal Carolina was led by Butler, who finished 9-for-13 from the field for a game-high 24 points, and Derrick Robinson, who added eight points and a game-best 14 boards.
The Phoenix won the battle of the boards 35-30 over the leagues leader in rebounding margin. The Chanticleers entered the contest with a +6.2 average rebounding margin. Elon also edged Coastal Carolina in assists (12-10), turnovers (12-13) and blocked shots (4-2), but the Chanticleers earned advantages in field goal percentage (45.8 percent-43.9), three-point field goal accuracy (41.2 percent-35.7), free throw marksmanship (81.8 percent-47.1) and steals (8-7).
With the victory, the Phoenix improved to 8-3 all-time against Coastal Carolina, including 6-0 at Alumni Gym. It also improved Elons record to 3-2 against Big South leaders at Alumni Gym. Overall, Elon is 16-7 in Big South games at Alumni Gym.
Elon will try to continue its giant-killing ways when it hosts four-time defending Big South champion Winthrop at 7 p.m. Saturday. Coastal Carolina hosts rival Charleston Southern at 4 p.m. Saturday in a Fox Sports Net South television broadcast.