ROCK HILL, SC - Junior Pele Paelay (Derwood, Md./Magruder) scored a game-high 30 for Coastal Carolina, but it came in defeat as the Chanticleers were downed by Big South Conference rival Winthrop University 80-66, at Winthrop Coliseum in Rock Hill, SC on Saturday, Jan. 22. With its third consecutive loss, Coastal falls to 5-13 and 2-4 in league play, while the Eagles won their fifth straight and advanced to 14-5 and a conference-best 5-1.
The game was back and forth contest in the beginning with neither team able to open up more than a three-point lead until a layup by WU junior forward Otis Daniel (Greenwood, SC) gave Winthrop a 16-12 lead. Coastal saw the deficit quickly grow to 10 at 26-16, the final points on a three-pointer by Winthrop sophomore forward Philip Williams (Cleveland, NC /West Rowland). A three-pointer by freshman Chad Ferguson (North Las Vegas, Nevada/Cheyenne) would finally get the lead under ten at 38-29. However, it would be as close as the Chanticleers could get, as the Eagles closed the first half on a 9-2 run for 47-31 lead heading into intermission.
The Chants would start the second half on an early 7-1 run, spearheaded by senior guard Alvin Greens (Socastee, SC/Socastee) driving layup to cut it to 48-36. CCU would again get the game within single digits at 51-43 with 15:06 on a three-pointer by Paelay. But that would be as close as the Chants could get the remainder of the game. The lead would again grow to as much as 18 in the closing minutes, as Winthrop coasted in the late stages to a 80-66 victory.
Coastal was outshot in this one, both from the field, as the Chanticleers hit just 40 percent (23-for-57) from the floor, as compared to Winthrops 47 percent (24-for-51). WU also dominated the free throw line, going to the line 38 times and hitting 26 of them, while CCU shot a paltry 46 percent (12-for-26) from the charity stripe.
Paelay was an impressive 11-for-18 from the field and 5-for-6 from the charity stripe for 30 points, eclipsing the 30-point mark for the second time in his Coastal career. He also had a team-high seven rebounds in the loss. Freshman guard Jack Leasure (Rochester, NY/McQuaid Jesuit) was the only other Chant in double figures with 18, including going 4-for-9 from the three-point arc. The Eagles had four players in double figures, led by Torrell Martin (Columbia, SC/Airport) with 16 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
The Chanticleers wrap up their two-game road swing with a trip to Birmingham, Ala. to take on the Big Souths preseason favorite Birmingham-Southern Monday, Jan. 24 at 8 p.m. EST.