]CHARLESTON, SC - In an important Big South Conference game, Coastal Carolina Universitys mens basketball team struggled from the field in the second half and couldnt hold on to a 10-point lead, falling to Charleston Southern, 64-62 at CSU Fieldhouse, Feb. 3. Coastal now 7-14 and 4-5 in the Big South, while CSU snaps a four-game losing streak and is now 8-11 and 5-4 in the league.
The opening half was a back-and-forth battle with eight ties and nine lead changes. Neither team was able to build more than a five-point lead throughout. However after trailing 30-29, Coastal then went on a 6-0 run to close the half and go into the intermission with a 35-30 lead.
The Chanticleers shot 45.7 percent at the intermission and outrebounded the Bucs, 19-13, including seven offensive boards. Charleston Southern shot 52 percent in the first half but committed eight turnovers, four on CCU steals. Coastal was led by sophomore Adrian Gross, who had 10 points and five rebounds at the break, while senior Alvin Green and freshman Jack Leasure each scored eight. CSU was led by Jovan Jegdic with eight points, while Torrell Brown added seven.
CCU continued to build the lead, getting it to 10 on two separate occasions, the last on a three-pointer by Colin Stevens with 11:18 to go to make it 51-41. However, the Bucs answered immediately with a 6-0 run over the next two minutes to cut the margin to four at 51-47. CCU got it back to seven on free throws by Gross and Pele Paelay to make it 54-47, but a 8-2 run by CSU trimmed the lead to one, 56-55, with 5:23 to go. Charleston Southern later took the lead for good on a pair of free throws by Brown with just under three minutes in the game. Coastal kept within striking distance, but a desparation three from 40 feet out at the buzzer by Paelay rimmed off and CSU preserved the win.
Coastal struggled from the floor in the second half, hitting on just 32.1 percent (9-for-28), while Charleston Southern knocked down 52.0 percent (13-for-25) of their shots in the final period. Coastal hit just 39.7 percent from the floor overall, as compared to the Bucs 52.0 percent (26-for-50). CSU also got to the line six more times than Coastal, making four more than the Chants.
Coastal was led by Gross second consecutive double-double with a career-high 17 points and adding 10 rebounds. Green and Leasure each chipped in 11, while Paelay scored 10, hitting just 3-for-17 from the field. CSU was led by Jegdic with 18 points, while Brown and Kurtis Rice added 13 and 12, respectively.
The Chants return home for a pair of home games in three days, starting with VMI, Sat., Feb. 5 at 4 p.m. Coastal will then wrap up the four games in eight days by hosting Radford, Mon., Feb. 7 at 7 p.m.