CONWAY, SC - Coastal Carolina Universitys mens basketball team shot just 38.8 percent from the field in losing a tough 71-64 game to visiting Liberty, Jan. 15. With the loss, the Chanticleers fall to 5-11 and 2-2 in the Big South Conference, while the Flames advanced to 4-11 and 2-2 in league play.
This was a classic battle throughout, as no team led by more than four points in the opening half. There were 13 lead changes and a tie, before the visiting Flames went into the halftime lockerroom with a slim 30-29 advantage.
Liberty pushed the advantage to four on the first possession of the second half, as Glyn Turner knocked down a three-pointer from the corner to put the Flames up 33-29. However, this would start a trend of trading baskets, as Liberty would lead by no more than six thought the majority of the second half. Coastal cut it to one on two occasions in the late going, including 62-61 with 2:57 to play, but couldnt ever wrestle the lead away from the visitors. CCU had several chances late to make it a one-possession game, the last with less than a minute to go, but could not convert.
For the game, Coastal struggled from the field, hitting just 38.8 percent from the field. After shooting 42 percent from the three-point arc in the last nine games, the Chants hit a paltry 19.0 percent (4-for-21) from three-point range in the game. Liberty was solid offensively, hitting 51.0 percent of its shots from the field and outrebounding the Chanticleers 37-34. The Flames also went to the free-throw line 12 more times than CCU, hitting 15-of-23 while Coastal was just 8-of-11.
Junior Pele Paelay (Derwood, Md./Magruder) and freshman Jack Leasure (Rochester, N.Y./McQuaid Jesuit) led Coastal with 14 points each, while sophomore Moses Sonko (E. Greenwich, R.I./Classical) chipped in 10 points. Senior Leo Lightbourne (Andros, Bahamas) led all scorers with a career-high 27 points and eight rebounds, while sophomore Larry Blair (Charlotte, N.C.) contributed 15 points.
The Chants continue the homestand by hosting High Point, Mon., Jan. 17 at 7 p.m., while Liberty travels to Charleston Southern for a 7 p.m. tip, Mon., Jan. 17.