Men's Hoops Drop Battle With Charleston Southern, 71-69
CONWAY, S.C. – The Coastal Carolina University men’s basketball team (9-13, 3-7 Big South) fell to Charleston Southern University (7-13, 2-7 Big South) 71-69 in a Big South contest in Conway, S.C. Coastal Carolina shaved an eight-point deficit with 2:36 left down to one, but a last-second shot by the Chanticleers did not fall, giving the Buccaneers its second Big South win.
The Chanticleers struggled at the start, going the first 6:10 without scoring. Charleston Southern had a 15-5 lead after a Kelvin Martin layup with 9:56 left, but Coastal Carolina would make a 12-2 run as a fastbreak dunk from redshirt junior Joseph Harris (Lejeune, N.C./Lejeune) tied the game at 17 with 5:05 left. Coastal Carolina took its first lead of the game on a Harris jumper with 3:36 left and had as much as a three-point first half advantage. A three from senior Steven Sexton (Monticello, Ky./Wayne County) with 16 seconds gave the Chanticleers the 28-27 halftime lead.
Harris led the Chants with eight points and eight rebounds, while Sexton added six. The Chants shot 34.5 percent from the floor in the first 20 minutes. Martin had 12 points for the Bucs, while Omar Carter added five points and five rebounds.
The Buccaneers came out strong in the second half, taking a 39-33 lead with 15:31 left on a Carter layup. Carter’s three at 13:48 made it 44-36 CSU. The Chants would get the deficit down to one on a three-point play from junior Mario Edwards (Massillon, Ohio/Chipola J.C.) with 11:14 left. Charleston Southern went up five (55-50) on a layup from Giedrius Knysas with 9:44 left, but the Chants tied the game at 57 with 7:15 left on a free throw from sophomore Anthony Breeze (Greenville, S.C./Greenville). Charleston Southern went on a 13-5 run over the next 4:41, as Carter’s layup with 2:36 left gave the Bucs a 70-62 lead. That’s when the Chants would start to cut into the lead. Redshirt junior Logan Johnson (Knoxville, Tenn./South Doyle) made it 70-64 with 2:18 left. With 1:35 left, Harris connected on a three-point play, cutting the CSU lead to three. Coastal Carolina would get the ball after a Buc foul and Johnson would connect on two free throws. CSU’s Jamarco Warren would be called for his fifth foul with 1:04 left, but the Chants could not take the lead. Johnson would foul Carter, who missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 15 seconds left. Senior Mario Sisinni (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips) missed a three-pointer with four seconds left, and Austin Johnson would grab the rebound, giving the Bucs the win.
Harris had his 11th double-double of the season, scoring 14 points and adding 15 rebounds. Johnson and Breeze added 13 boards apiece. Sisinni and Sexton had four assists apiece, while Breeze had three blocked shots.
For Charleston Southern, Carter had a game-high 24 points and made it a double-double with 10 rebounds. Martin added 14 points and three blocked shots.
Coastal Carolina shot 36.2 percent from the floor and was 21-of-31 from the free-throw line, while the Bucs shot 50 percent from the floor and outrebounded the Chants 41-33.
Coastal Carolina had 17 points off turnovers and 24 bench points, while the Bucs had 13 second-chance tallies.
Coastal Carolina travels to Clinton, S.C., to face Presbyterian Wednesday, Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. The Buccaneers host High Point Monday, Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m.