Men's Hoops Gets Thrilling 85-78 Overtime Victory Over Charleston Southern
CONWAY, S.C. -- After the Chanticleers trailed by 17 points in the first half, junior guard Steven Sexton's three pointer at the end of regulation sent the game into overtime, where Coastal Carolina controlled the extra period in getting the 85-78 Big South Conference victory over Charleston Southern, Feb. 2. By snapping a three-game skid, the Chants advanced to 10-10 overall and 3-4 in Big South play, while the Buccaneers dropped to 7-15 and 1-6 in the league.
The in-state rivals battled through the first eight minutes of the contest, going through three ties and six lead changes. After CCU led 14-13 with 11:35 left in the first, the visiting Bucs put together a 29-11 run, capped off by Chris Moore's jumper and including a string of 14 unanswered points, to build the largest lead of the game at 42-25 with 1:04 remaining in the opening period. Coastal scored five late points on a three by senior guard Jack Leasure and a layup by sophomore forward Logan Johnson to cut the margin to 42-30 at the intermission.
The push continued at the start of the second half, as the Chants trimmed the margin to nine at 42-33 with 19:02 to play in regulation. The Chants continued to battle and, down nine at 48-39, they scored the next 10 points of the game over five minutes to take their first lead of the second half at 49-48. After lead changes left CCU up 51-50, Charleston Southern made a run by scoring the next seven points, capped by a jumper from Omar Carter, to go up 57-51 with 8:11 remaining. The Bucs eventually went up seven at 59-52 with 6:36, but the Chants would not quit and tied it at 59 with 2:34 to play on Phil Wallace's offensive rebounds and putback.
A jumper by Jamarco Warren and a pair of free throws put CSU up 63-59 with 1:48 remaining. Johnson canned a pair of free throws for Coastal to trim the lead to two, but when Leasure hit just one of two free throws with 57 seconds left, CSU clung to a 63-62 win. The teams exchanged baskets and Coastal had the ball with eight seconds to play on an inbounds play at their end line. However, a traveling call on the inbounds pass gave the ball back to CSU. After being fouled with 6.5 seconds left, Warren made both ends of a one-and-one. After the time out, CCU inbounded the ball on a set play and junior guard Mario Sisinni quickly moved it up the floor, where he kicked it back to Sexton for the 22-footer that sent the Kimbel Arena crowd into a frenzy and the two teams to an extra five minutes of play.
The Chants controlled the overtime, starting with a three by Sisinni on the opening possession and a layup by Leasure to go up five. CSU trimmed it to just two on Moore's convention three-point play, but that was as close as the visitors would get, as the Chants stretched it to a two possession game on the ensuing triple by Sisinni and kept that the remainder of the way for the seven-point win.
Coastal shot 44.6 percent (25-of-56) for the game, including 4-of-5 in the overtime period, while CSU was just 37.8 percent from the floor and were limited to just 12-of-43 in the second half and overtime. The Chants worked to get to the free throw line, going 24-of-33 (72.7 percent), with Bucs going 10-of-14 (71.4 percent) at the charity stripe. Coastal dominated the glass, outrebounding the visitors 50-33, including 34-17 in the final 25 minutes. Leasure led all scorers and five Chants in double figures with 23 points and a career-high nine rebounds. Sisinni tallied a career-high 16, while senior walk-on David Long posted career-bests of 12 points and seven rebounds off the bench. Moore led CSU with 22 points, while Carter added 20.
CCU will wrap up its three-game homestand by facing defending champion Winthrop for the second time in 11 days when they meet at Kimbel Arena, Wed., Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. on SportSouth. CSU has the week off before heading to Radford, Sat., Feb. 9 at 7 p.m.