RADFORD, VA. Coastal Carolina's men's basketball squad battled back late in the second half but could not find the basket in the closing minutes, losing at Radford 80-76, Jan. 13. The Chanticleers had their five-game overall and 12-game Big South Conference regular season winning streaks snapped in falling to 9-7 and 2-1 in the league, while the Highlanders advanced to 6-12 and 1-2 in conference play.
The Chants came out and quickly built a 7-3 lead three-and-a-half minutes into the game, However, Coastal hit a scoring drought over the next five minutes, getting outscored 12-3 to fall behind 15-10 with 12:30 to go in the half. Radford extended the lead to 30-21 at the 6:24 mark before CCU started to rally in the final minutes of the half. Coastal eventually got the lead back on guard Mario Sisinni's layup with just over a minute to play, making it 38-36. RU's Chris Oliver knocked down a pair of three pointers in the final minute of the first half and Sisinni got a last second jumper to make it 42-40 Highlanders at the intermission.
Coastal took a quick lead on a three pointer by guard Everage Richardson to open the second half and go up 43-42, but RU came right back and took the lead again and held on to it for most of the second half. The Highlanders eventually build a seven-point margin at 65-58 with 8:30 to go, but CCU would make another surge. This time, Coastal went on a 16-4 run to take a five-point lead at 74-69 with 2:41 to play in the contest. However, CCU could not cash in and hit anything in that final segment, as Radford finished the game on a 11-2 run and got the win.
The Chanticleers hit on 48.4 percent (30-for-62) from the field, but the Highlanders were even better at 52.9 percent (27-for-51), including 66.7 percent in the second half. Coastal did win the battle of the boards, 33-31, but the difference in this game was the free throw line, as CCU was just 8-for-16, while RU was 18-for-27.
Forward Moses Sonko led Coastal with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while guard Jack Leasure and Richardson had 14 and 13, respectively. Radford's Oliver led all scorers with 23 points, while guard Amir Johnson had 18 on 7-for-8 shooting and 3-for-3 from the three-point arc.
CCU wraps up a two-game Big South swing through the state of Virginia, traveling to Lexington, Va. to take on the VMI Keydets, Mon., Jan. 15. Game time at VMI's Cameron Hall is set for 7 p.m.