BIRMINGHAM, AL Coastal Carolina fought back during the late stages of the game but could not overcome a slow opening in each half, falling at Birmingham-Southern, 77-64, Jan. 14. With their 13th consecutive road loss, including eight road games, the Chanticleers fell to 6-8 and 0-3 in the Big South, while the Panthers advanced to 10-5 and 3-1 in league action.
Birmingham-Southern got out to a fast start to open the game, opening on a 13-4 run in the first six minutes of the game, and eventually pushed the lead to 11 at 21-10 with eight minutes to go in the half. Coastal's defense then stepped up and allowed the Chants to slowly battle back, cutting into the lead down each possession, eventually going into the halftime lockerroom just trailing by three, 32-29.
Coastal struggled from the field, hitting just nine field goals and 42.9 percent (9-for-21) from the floor, as compared to BSC's 45.2 percent (14-for-31). The two differences for CCU were rebounding, as the Chants led the board battle 18-13, and the charity stripe, with Coastal going 9-for-11 and BSC just 2-for-3.
Individually, CCU was led by forward Moses Sonko with eight points, while forward Joseph Harris had four points and seven rebounds. The Panthers were led by Thomas Viglianco with eight points, while Dwayne Paul chipped in five.
The Chants came out in the second half and immediately tied the game at 34, but could not get over the top. At that point, BSC took control of the game again, going on a 15-2 run over the next 3:40 to take a 49-36 lead it would never relinquish. The Panthers pushed the lead to as many as 17 at 60-43 with 10:11 to play. However, Coastal would fight, cutting it seven with a 10-0 run over 4:37 to make it 60-53. CCU got it as close as five at 62-57 with 4:09 to play but BSC's James Collins drained a three to put the game out of reach. Free throws down the stretch provided the final margin of victory.
Coastal finished the game shooting 39.2 percent (20-for-51) from the floor, including 4-for-15 from the three-point arc. BSC was 48.3 percent (29-for-60) from the field, with six triples. CCU lost the rebounding war 35-31, but the Chants did get to the free throw line 24 times, hitting 20 of them.
Guard Colin Stevens led Coastal with a season-high 18 points, while Sonko was the only other player in double figures with 12. Both Pele Paelay and Jack Leasure were held below double figures, the first time both were held below 10 in a game this season. Collins led Birmingham-Southern with a season-high 21 points, while Viglianco and Paul added 16 and 11, respectively.
CCU returns home for its Big South Conference home opener, hosting UNC Asheville, Mon., Jan. 16. Tip-off at Kimbel Arena is scheduled for 7 p.m.