The Chanticleers struggled offensively in the first half, shooting only 25.9 percent (7-of-27) from the field, but the Panthers were on fire, hitting for 48.1 percent from the field and 75.0 percent (6-of-8) from beyond the three-point arc. Led by senior Derrick Williams, who had nine points in the first period, Birmingham-Southern held a 37-25 advantage at halftime.
Coastals offensive woes continued to open the second half, with the Panthers going up by as much as 20, 52-32, with 14 minutes left on the clock. The Chants chipped away at the lead, though, going on a 19-6 scoring run to cut the lead to seven, 58-49, at the 7:28 mark. Senior E.J. Gallup then evened the score, tallying seven points for CCU in a span of 1:36 off two well-timed three-pointers and a jumper to tie the game at 59. Coastal then took the lead for the first time since the 15-minute mark of the first half as freshman Moses Sonko made a layup, but junior Jakob Sigurdarson responded with a jumper to tie the game once more, 61-61, with 2:19 left to play. Birmingham-Southern then sent senior Brandon Newby to the line for Coastal, where he sunk both to put the Chants up by two once more. The Panthers wouldnt stay down, though, as junior Shema Mbyirukira hit a jumper with 38 seconds left to tie it up again, 63-63. Coastal had a chance for the victory at the buzzer, with Sonko driving to the line, but the shot was no good and the game went to overtime.
Birmingham-Southern went up by four in the first minute of OT, 67-63, and the Chanticleers would never lead again in the game. The Panthers scored 13 points in the five-minute span, capped by two free throws from senior Grant Davis, and came away with the eight-point victory, 76-68.
Coastal outrebounded BSC, 42-32, led by junior Clint Nagel with 11. Sonko led all scorers in the game with a career-high 18 points, and he also tied his career high with nine rebounds. Birmingham-Southern had four players to score in double-digits, led by Sigurdarson with 16. Mbyirukira led the Panthers in rebounding with eight.
Coastal recovered slightly from the first half, shooting 30.2 percent overall, but shot only 24.0 percent from beyond the arc. The Chants were nearly automatic from the charity stripe, though, hitting on 24 of 26 attempts for 92.3 percent. The Panthers were 40.0 percent from the floor overall, and a staggering 57.1 percent from three-point land.
The Chanticleers take to the road again for their next three games, beginning with a date at Big South rival Winthrop this Wednesday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m.