CONWAY, S.C. -- Coastal Carolina mens basketball squad battled but a late 8-1 run by visiting High Point gave the Panthers a 59-56 Big South Conference win at Kimbel Arena, Jan. 22. The loss was the first at Kimbel Arena in the last 16 contests and dropped the Chanticleers to 11-8 and 4-2 in the Big South, while the Panthers improved to 15-5 and 6-0 with their eighth straight victory.
The two squads exchanged opening two-pointers before Coastal went on a 9-2 run, including four points by Moses Sonko and three by Joseph Harris, to take an 11-4 advantage with just under five minutes gone. The visiting Panthers came back and eventually took the lead at 17-16 on a layup by Melvin Crowder and built the margin to four at 23-19 on Jerald Minnis' layup with 6:36 to play in the first half. After the game was 27-24 HPU with 3:56 to go, Coastal closed the half on an 11-0 run, including a layup by Adrian Gross with just two seconds remaining in the half for a 35-27 CCU halftime advantage.
High Point charged back to start the second half and eventually tied the game at 38 with 12:41 remaining on Eugene Harris' three-pointer. After trading baskets, including three lead changes and three ties, Coastal had a 55-51 lead on Sonko's layup with 1:48 to play. With 45 seconds to play, HPU's Landon Quick went to the free throw line and hit the first of two free throws. Quick missed the second but High Point got the ball back as it went out of bounds off a Coastal player. The Panthers' Mike Jefferson hit a three-pointer off the inbounds and the game was tied at 55 with 40 seconds to play. HPU then stole the inbounds passed and Arizona Reid was fouled on the play. He made one of two free throws to take a 56-55 lead with 38 seconds to play and Quick also hit one of two to make it 57-55 with 21 seconds to go. Sonko was fouled on an ensuing play for CCU but could only hit one of his two attempts to make it 57-56 with 12 seconds to go. Quick then canned a pair of free throws with nine seconds to play and Coastal's final three-point attempt came up short.
The Chanticleers hit just 38.2 percent (21-for-55) from the floor for the game, including going just 8-for-26 (30.8 percent) in the second half. High Point connected on 41.8 percent (23-for-55) of its shots from the field. HPU hit four three pointers to just one for CCU, while the Chanticleers won the board battled 36-32. Coastal also hit 13-of-19 free throws, while High Point was 9-for-12.
Coastal was led by Sonko with 16 points, while Harris posted his third straight double-double with 12 points and 15 rebounds in the game. High Point's Reid led all scorers with 19 points and added 11 boards for his double-double, while Quick and Harris each chipped in 10.
Coastal goes on the road next to take on two-time defending Big South champion Winthrop, Sat., Jan. 27 at 4 p.m., while High Point will play the same Winthrop squad two days earlier, Thu., Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. at HPU's Millis Center.