The opening 10 minutes of play was a see-saw affair as the teams battled to five ties and 10 lead changes. With the Chanticleers ahead 22-21 with 11:09 on the clock, UNC Asheville opened a six-point lead with a 9-2 spurt over the next 2:20. Julian Capel, who added two assists during this stretch, capped the run with a bucket from behind the arc.
UNC Asheville, which entered the game with a seven-game winning streak, continued to hold a lead of five points at 36-31 when Coastal went on a 13-2 run to open a 44-38 advantage with 2:27 remaining in the half. The teams traded baskets the remainder of the half and the Chants' Brandon Newby closed the scoring with a trey to notch a 49-42 margin for Coastal entering the break.
The Bulldogs scored 10 of the first 14 points to begin the second half and closed the gap to just one point at 53-52 on Billy Allen's short jumper with 13:11 remaining in the game. After trading baskets, Coastal went on a game-deciding 13-0 run to open its largest lead of the night at 68-54 with 9:28 to play. Antonio Darden sparked Coastal with six points and a pair of offensive rebounds during this stretch. UNC Asheville pulled to within five points with 1:51 on the clock, but the Chanticleers cruised to the victory by connecting on 9-of-13 from the free throw line in the final 1:33.
Darden, Newby and Derrick Robinson led the most balanced offensive attack that the Chanticleers have shown all season with 18 points each. Darden added 10 rebounds, eight of which came on the offensive end, for his second double-double of the season. Sophomore point guard Alvin Green posted one of the best all-around games of his collegiate career with 15 points, seven rebounds, and nine assists. Coastal outrebounded the taller Bulldogs 40-34.
Robby Joyner and Michael Harper led UNC Asheville with 17 points apiece, while Alex Kragel had 15 and Allen and Capel added 12 and 10, respectively. Joyner and Kragel led UNCA on the boards with six rebounds each.
UNC Asheville connected on 67.9 percent from the field in the first half, but Coastal's defense tightened in the second to hold the Bulldogs to just 37.8 percent from the field. UNCA connected on 50.8 percent for the game, but hit just 4-of-16 from behind the 3-point arc and 8-of-19 from the free throw line. Coastal Carolina connected on 10-of-20 around the deep perimeter and 24-of-29 from the charity stripe.
Coastal Carolina will now travel to Charleston Southern for a Big South Conference doubleheader this Saturday at the CSU Fieldhouse. The Chanticleer men will face the Buccaneers at 4:00 p.m., while the women's game will tip-off at 7:00 p.m.