COASTAL CAROLINA UNIVERSITY MEN'S BASKETBALL
CHANTICLEERS vs. BUCCANEERS
Charleston Southern's CSU Fieldhouse (798) ~ Charleston, South Carolina
Monday, January 29, 2007 ~ 7 p.m.
CONTINUING CONFERENCE PLAY ON THE ROAD: The Coastal Carolina mens basketball squad will play the second of three straight road games tonight, taking on in-state foe Charleston Southern in a Big South Conference battle. The three-game road swing started with a heartbreaking 65-63 loss at two-time defending champion Winthrop, Jan. 27. It will conclude on Thur., Feb. 1, as the Chanticleers will step outside the league in Savannah, Ga. to take on Savannah State in the final of a home-and-home non-conference series this year.
THE COACHES: Coastal Carolina Head Coach Buzz Peterson (North Carolina, '86) is in his second season at the helm of the Chanticleers with a 31-19 record and holds a 197-128 overall coaching record in 10-plus seasons. Last season, Coastal posted a 20-10 mark, including 12-4 in Big South Conference play, falling in the Big South Tournament Championship game.
Barclay Radebaugh (East Tennessee State, '87) is in his second season as head coach at Charleston Southern with an 18-32 record at CCU and 39-41 in his third year as a head coach overall. Last season, the Buccaneers were 13-16 overall and 7-9 in Big South Conference play, finishing sixth but advancing to the Big South Semifinals where they lost to Coastal. CSU returns three starters and five letterwinners to this years team.
SERIES WITH CHARLESTON SOUTHERN: The second longest series in CCUs history, the Chanticleers and Buccaneers meet for the 51st time tonight, with the series tied at 25 victories each. However, CCU has won seven of the last eight games between the two teams, including this season's Big South opener at Kimbel Arena, 66-54. Last year, Coastal won all three meetings, including the Advance Auto Parts Big South Tournament Semifinals in Rock Hill, 73-67. The two regular season meetings in 2005-06 were very close, as the Chants won the games by a combined three points. There is another oddity in the series in that the visiting team holds the advantage in each venue. At CSU Fieldhouse, the Chanticleers are 14-8 all-time.
LAST TIME OUT - A HEARTBREAKER AT WINTHROP: Coastal Carolina mens basketball squad came back from a 10-point halftime deficit but could not pull it out in the closing minute, losing a 65-63 Big South Conference contest at two-time defending champion Winthrop, 65-63, Jan. 27. The game was the first sell-out ever in the 25-year history of the Winthrop Coliseum.
Coastal got the first points of the contest on a three-pointer by junior guard Jack Leasure but the host Eagles went on a 22-8 run over the next eight minutes, sparked by a pair of three-pointers each from Chris Gaynor and Michael Jenkins, to take a 22-11 lead with 11:23 to go in the first. The Chants fought back with an 11-4 surge to cut it back to 26-22 just three-and-a-half minutes later. Another push from Winthrop got the lead out to as many as 12 in the opening period before the hosts entered the halftime lockerrroom with a 38-28 advantage.
The Chants came out of the intermission and immediately went on the attack, erasing the halftime deficit with a 17-7 surge that tied the game at 45 with 15:48 remaining in regulation. Coastal then re-took the lead on a layup by Moses Sonko and added to it with another three by Leasure to make it 50-45 with 12:00 to play. The lead eventually grew to seven at 56-49 with 7:06 to play, but Winthrop made another late push, tying the game at 58 with just over four minutes to go. From there, baskets and free throws were exchanged until it was knotted at 63 with 2:32 remaining in the contest. In the clsoing minutes, Craig Bradshaw and Gaynor each hit a free throw to make it 65-63 with 32 seconds to play. Coastal had the last possession and, after a scramble for the ball, a catch-and-shoot by sophomore forward Joseph Harris came up just short as time expired.
CCU finished the contest at 47.3 percent (26-for-55) from the floor, including 6-for-17 from the three-point arc. Winthrop was 43.4 percent (23-for-53) from the field, with 9-for-22 from three-point territory. The host Eagles won the battle dof the boards 33-29 and also converted 10-of-18 free throws while the Chants were 5-of-6.
Leasure led four Chanticleers in double figures with 17 points, with Everage Richardson adding a career-best 15 on 7-for-10 from the field. Joshua Mack and Sonko added 14 and 12, respectively. In the game, Sonko became just the 30th player in league history to record 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in their career, finishing the game with 1,000 points and 506 rebounds. Jenkins led all scorers with 19, while Craig Bradshaw had a double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds.
IMPROVED DEFENSE IN CONFERENCE PLAY: The Chanticleers have improved their numbers on the defensive end of the court in Big South Conference play. Eliminating the "unique" style of the VMI game, Coastal has given up 4.5 points less per game in league action than in non-conference play and limited opponents to 11 percentage points less from the field. The Chants have held the opposition to 65 points or less in five of the seven Big South contests. CCU also has give up 2.4 fewer turnovers per game and also held a +2.3 turnover margin in those league contests.
SEVERAL KEYS IN COASTAL WINS: There are several important factors for Coastal to be victorious. The Chants are 10-1 when leading at the intermission and 11-1 when ahead with five minutes to play in the game. CCU is 10-2 when holding opponents to less than 70 points in a game and 9-4 when shooting better than 45 percent from the floor. Additionally, Coastal is 9-2 when shooting more free throws than their opponents and 8-2 when outrebounding their foes.
Individually, the Chants are 4-3 when junior guard Jack Leasure leads the squad in scoring and 5-3 when senior forward Moses Sonko is the leading board getter.
SONKO MAKES HISTORY IN THREE WAYS: Senior forward Moses Sonko has made his mark on both the Coastal Carolina and Big South Conference career record books this season. In the win against Liberty, Jan. 20, Sonko reached the 500 career rebound plateau, just the 39th player in league history to ever reach that. Then at Winthrop, Jan. 27, Sonko tallied 12 points to become the 15th member of CCU's 1,000-Point Club and the 30th ever member (and fourth from CCU) of the elite Big South group that have 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in their career. He currently has 1,000 career points and 506 rebounds.
RANKING NATIONALLY: Coastal ranks in the top 85 in several national categories as a team, as of Jan. 21. CCU is 10th nationally in assists at 17.9 per game and 12th in steals at 9.8 per game. Coastal also ranks 62nd in three-pointers made with 7.8 per game, 74th in field-goal percentage at 46.8 percent and 77th in scoring offense at 74.7 points per contest.
Individually, junior guard Jack Leasure ranks 21st in three-pointers per game (3.2), while senior forward Moses Sonko is 29th in field goal percentage at 59.6 percent. Freshman guard Joshua Mack is 87th in three-point field goal percentage (38.3).
WINNING THE BATTLE OF THE BOARDS: During Coastal's 11 wins, one of the keys for the Chanticleers was the rebounding battle. Coastal has dominated on the glass, outrebounding opponents by a combined margin of 358-279, an average of 7.4 more boards per game than its opponents. However in the nine losses, the Chanticleers have not won the board battle, losing five and tying one with an average margin against of 6.8 rebounds a game.
HARRIS DOUBLES UP AGAIN: Sophomore Joseph Harris earned his seventh double-double of the season and ninth of his career after scoring 12 points and grabbing 15 rebounds against High Point, Jan. 22.
Harris posted a pair of double-doubles last week in the win over Liberty, Jan. 20 with 18 points and 10 rebounds, and at VMI, Jan. 15, as he had a career-best and team season-best 31 points to go with 11 boards at VMI, Jan. 15. The two-game effort earned him Big South Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career. He had a streak of three straight games with double-doubles earlier in the season -- Campbell (14 pts., 13 reb.), Wright State (12 pts., 13 reb.) and Asbury (17 pts., 11 reb.)
He currently leads the team and is fifth in the Big South at 8.0 boards per contest and ranks fourth the squad at 9.3 points per game. He has at least shared for team-high honors in rebounding in 12 of the first 20 Coastal games this year.
MOVING UP THE SCORING RANKS: With his two free throws in the closing seconds of the win over Wright State, Nov. 19, junior Jack Leasure became the 14th member of CCUs 1000-Point Club, accomplishing the feat in just two years and three games. He currently ranks eighth on Coastal's all-time scoring chart and 40th on the Big South list with 1,239 points, recently surpassing Robert Dowdell (1988-91) at 1,202 points and Brian Penny (1988-91) at 1,208. He currently ranks 42nd in league history in scoring. Next on the Coastal list is Howard White (1975-76) in seventh at 1,321.
SONKO PARTING THE DEFENSE: And that is exactly what senior forward Moses Sonko has been doing on the offensive end of the floor for Coastal. After averaging 11.7 points a game last year, Sonko has stepped up and increased his scoring to 14.7 points per game, leading the squad and eighth in the conference. Sonko has also tallied six double-doubles this season, including his most recent of 20 points and 11 rebounds at Radford, Jan. 13.
J-MONEY: Junior Jack Leasure has been clutch from the three-point line in the past, but his most notable performance comes from the free-throw line. Leasure is an impressive 27-for-29 (93.1 percent) thus far on the season. Leasure has been good at the three-point arc as well, as he has hit 61 three-pointers in the first 20 games.
LEADING THE WAY: Leaders often do the little things that don't show up in the stats. However with junior Jack Leasure, senior Moses Sonko and sophomore Joseph Harris, when they show up as leaders in the stats, in normally means good things for the Chanticleers. Over the last 49 games, Leasure has led Coastal in scoring on 21 occasions, posting a 17-4 mark, while when Sonko is the leading board grabber, CCU is 10-5. Harris has led the Chants on the glass in 23 of those contests, with CCU having an 15-8 mark in those games as well.
SONKO SHOOTING IT WELL: Senior forward Moses Sonko has been more assertive on the offensive end of the floor this season. Through Jan. 26, Sonko leads the team and Big South Conference in field goal percentage, now hitting 59.8 percent of his shots from the floor. On the year, he is also pacing the team in scoring, tallying 14.7 points per contest, good for eighth in the league.
LEASURE GETTING BACK IN HIS ZONE: After ending the 2005-06 season ranked second in the nation in three-pointers at 4.2 per game, junior Jack Leasure opened the season with no treys in the loss against Xavier. However, Leasure made up for that with flying colors in the 83-63 loss to Campbell. He led all scorers by hitting five from behind the arc and finishing the game with 19 points. He now has 61 three pointers in 20 games, an average of 3.1 per contest. For his career, Leasure has knocked down 271 three pointers, just four triples behind CCU and Big South all-time leader KeKe Hicks (1993-96) with 275.
Leasure had his best game of the season in the win over McNeese State, Jan. 2, as the guard scored a season-high 24 points, including going 6-for-8 from the three-point arc. He currently ranks second on the team and 11th in the league in scoring at 14.2 points per game.
JACK BELIEVES IN MAKING CHARITY COUNT: Junior guard Jack Leasure has made his opportunities at the free throw line worth something in his career. He has hit 120 of his 142 attempts at the line, a clip of 84.5 percent that is currently the best career free throw percentage in Coastal history.
SETTLING THE STARTING LINEUP: After using five different starting lineups in the first 12 games, head coach Buzz Peterson has started the same group in seven of the last eight games and looks to continue that trend tonight. Getting the nod for Coastal's in those games has been guards Jack Leasure, Joshua Mack and Everage Richardson and forwards Moses Sonko and Joseph Harris, with the group currently 6-2 as starters. The only constants in the lineup this season have been Leasure and Sonko, who have started all 19 games to date.
MACK ON THE ATTACK: Freshman guard Joshua Mack has shown some offensive skills during the early part of the season for the Chanticleers. Mack currently is third for Coastal and 19th in the league in scoring at 11.6 points per game. He also ranks 10th in the Big South in assists at 3.21 per game, third in three-point field goal percentage at 38.1 percent and seventh in three-pointers made with 2.53 per game.
Mack had his best overall outing of the year, tying a career high with 19 points, grabbing four rebounds and dishing out five assists with no turnovers in the home win over Savannah State, Jan. 10. Recently, he tied his career high with 19 points to go with a career-best six rebounds, five assists and three steals, including a key theft in the closing seconds, in the win at VMI, Jan. 15.
HARRIS POSTS 30: Sophomore forward Joseph Harris scored a career-best and team season-high 31 points in the win at VMI, Jan. 15. That is the most points scored by a Chanticleer since current junior Jack Leasure dropped 33 against South Carolina State, Dec. 14, 2005. It was the most points scored by a CCU player in a Big South Conference contest since Pele Paelay had 30 in a loss at Winthop, Jan. 22, 2005.
KIMBEL HAS ITS ADVANTAGES: Coastal Carolina's Kimbel Arena may seat just over 1,000 fans, but it had been large for the Chanticleers the previous two seasons. Coastal is now 24-3 since the start of the 2002-03 season in non-conference games at Kimbel. CCU had a stellar 14-1 record at home last year, the most home victories since the program went Division I for the 1985-86 season. CCU is also 48-16 (75.0 percent) overall at the Conway campus venue in the last four-plus years, including a staggering 23-2 under current coach Buzz Peterson. In fact, the Chanticleers had won their last 15 games at Kimbel Arena, dating back to Jan. 21, 2006 and a 70-69 overtime loss to Radford, prior to last Monday's loss to High Point.
BIG SOUTH ACTION LAST YEAR AT KIMBEL: In nine conference games against league foes at CCUs Kimbel Arena, the Chanticleers posted eight victories, including wins over two-time defending champion Winthrop and todays opponent, Charleston Southern. In fact, Coastal had won its last 15 games on the Conway floor, including eight straight against conference opponents, prior to the defeat by High Point, Jan. 22. The only other home loss in the last two years was a 70-69 overtime defeat to Radford, Jan. 21, 2006.
MACK NAMED FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK, AGAIN: Coastal Carolina guard Joshua Mack received New Balance Freshman of the Week honors for games played Jan. 8-14, it was announced Jan. 15 by the League office. This marks the fourth time this season that Mack has earned the conference's weekly honor, the second most ever by a CCU player as current junior Jack Leasure tied a Big South record by earning the award six times in 2004-05 en route to Freshman of the Year accolades.
Mack averaged 15.0 points and 53.6 percent from the field (15-of-28) in three games last week, helping the Chanticleers to two wins. He scored in double figures in each game, including 16 points in Coastals first road win of the season at UNC Asheville, Jan. 8. Mack tied his career-high with 19 points vs. Savannah State, Jan. 10, and added 10 points, five assists and three steals in a four-point loss at Radford. On the week, Mack was 10-of-19 from three-point range (52.6 percent), 5-of-6 from the line (83.3 percent) and averaged 4.3 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals.
LEASURE NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Coastal Carolina guard Jack Leasure was selected as the Big South Conference Choice Hotels Mens Basketball Player of the Week for games played Jan. 2-7, it was announced by the League office.
Leasure broke through last week with his best back-to-back games of the season, averaging 22.0 points in leading the Chanticleers to two wins. He scored a season-high 24 points, going 7-of-11 from the field, 6-of-8 from three-point range and 4-of-4 from the charity stripe, along with three assists and two steals in Coastals win over McNeese State. He followed that with 20 points, hitting 6-of-11 treys, as well as three assists and two steals in Saturdays win over Charleston Southern. Leasure tallied 11 of his 20 points -- including three triples -- in the closing seven-and-a-half minutes to seal the win. On the week, Leasure was 14-of-26 from the field (53.8 percent), 12-of-19 from long range (63.2 percent), 4-of-4 from the line (1.000 percent) and tallied 3.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.5 rebounds.
IF YOU BELIEVE IN FATE: And if you are a Chanticleer supporter, you have to feel good heading into Big South action. Last year, Coastal was over .500 in non-conference action entering the league and went 12-4 to finish second in the regular season and eventually advance to the Big South Championship game. This year, Coastal also started conference play at .500 for the second straight year, the first time that has occurred since the 1992-93 and 1993-94 seasons and both those squads finished above .500 overall. The 1992-93 squad won the Big South Tournament title and earned the league's NCAA Tournament berth. Coastal will play a home-and-home non-conference series with Savannah State in the middle of the season to make up for the loss of Birmingham-Southern on the schedule.
SCHEDULE CHANGE FOR SPORTSOUTH: The Coastal Carolina-Winthrop clash at Kimbel Arena, Sat., Feb. 24, has been moved from 4:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. to allow SportSouth to televise the game. As part of that schedule change, the Coastal Carolina-High Point women's basketball game has been moved back to 5 p.m.
COASTAL TO PLAY IN ESPNU BRACKETBUSTERS: For the first time in the program's history, Coastal Carolina has been chosen as one of the Big South Conference's teams in the ESPNU BracketBusters event. ESPNU will televise five selected games from around the country. The pairings for TV games will be announced live on ESPNU, Monday, Jan. 29 at 6 p.m., with the remainder of the schedule announced Tuesday, Jan. 30.
MACK GETTING FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK HONORS FOR HOLIDAY PLAY: Coastal Carolina guard Joshua Mack received New Balance Freshman of the Week honors for games played Dec. 18-Jan. 1, it was announced by the League office.
Mack averaged 12.0 points in three games for the Chanticleers, scoring in double figures each contest. He had 10 points, four rebounds and three steals vs. College of Charleston, Dec. 18, tallied 14 points, three assists and four three-pointers at Florida State, Dec. 21, and notched 12 points, four assists and hit 57.1 percent from long range (4-of-7) vs. St. Andrews, Dec. 29. Mack was 13-of-35 (37.1 percent) from the field and 10-of-24 (41.7 percent) from three-point range, in addition to 2.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game.
SWEEPING THE BIG SOUTH AWARDS: Coastal Carolina forward Moses Sonko has been selected as the Big South Conference Choice Hotels Mens Basketball Player of the Week for games played Dec. 11-17, while Chanticleers guard Joshua Mack received New Balance Freshman of the Week honors, it was announced Dec. 18 by the League office.
Sonko averaged 22.0 points on 67.9 percent (19-of-28) shooting from the floor in just 20.0 minutes per game in two contests. In an overtime loss at South Carolina State, Sonko was 9-of-16 (56.2 percent) from the floor and 4-of-5 from the line for a team-high 22 points. He also added three offensive rebounds. Then Dec. 16 vs. Brevard, Sonko again dropped in 22 points on 10-of-12 from the floor (83.3 percent), and was 2-of-2 from long range. Sonko, who entered the week averaging 13.8 points, also had 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game, and now leads Coastal in scoring for the first time in his career.
Mack averaged 13.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.0 steals in two games. At South Carolina State, Dec. 13, he posted a career-high 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting (63.6 percent) and hit 5-of-8 from three-point range, including the one that sent the game into overtime. Mack also added three rebounds and five assists at SCSU. He then had seven points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals in limited action against Brevard, Dec. 16.
WALK-ONS GETTING THE STAGE: In the home win over Southern Virginia, Nov. 29, two walk-ons got a chance to play their most minutes in a Coastal uniform. Junior David Long and sophomore Ashton Lawrence got in with just over three minutes to play in the contest. Long score one point, grabbed a career-best three rebounds and had his first collegiate block, while Lawrence tallied a career-best four points and added another career-high with three rebounds.
Long then followed it up with his first career start at South Carolina State, Dec. 13. He played a career-best 19 minutes and had three assists, one rebound and one steal in the contest. Long then posted career bests of five points and four assists in the win over Brevard.
A new walk-on saw action against Brevard, as sophomore Michael Ward played four minutes, hitting his only shot for two points, grabbed one rebounds and dished out one assist.
LIVE ON THE RADIO AND THE WEB: Coastal Carolina men's basketball will be broadcast live on "The Team", 93.9 FM, 93.7 FM and 1050 AM in the Conway/Myrtle Beach area, as well as on the Internet at www.GoCCUSports.com. Matt Hogue returns for his ninth year as "Voice of the Chanticleers". In addition, there will be Live Game Stats of all CCU home basketball games on the Internet.