CONWAY, SC The Coastal Carolina men's basketball team posted its fourth straight win and sixth victory in its last seven games with a solid 78-60 victory over visiting High Point, Feb. 6. With its 11th victory in 12 home contests, the Chanticleers are now 12-9 and 6-4 in Big South play, while the Panthers fell to 12-9 and 5-6 in the conference. With the win, CCU split the season series with High Point. The Chants also have the most home victories (11) since the 1992-93 team went 11-2 at home.
The early part of the game was back-and-forth, as the teams had six ties and seven lead changes in the first 13 minutes. Coastal could only manage a five-point lead in that time, while High Point's biggest lead was three. However with the game tied at 26 with 6:58 to go in the first half, sophomore guard Jack Leasure hit a three-pointer to put Coastal up for good, sparking a 11-2 CCU to end the half. The run included a running jumper by senior guard Pele Paelay with no time remaining to give Coastal a 37-28 lead at the break.
Coastal hit 16-for-35 in the opening period while High Point was just 12-for-32, including 1-for-10 from the three-point arc. CCU outrebounded HPU 21-18.
Freshman forward Joseph Harris led Coastal with eight points and 12 rebounds, while junior forward Moses Sonko and Leasure also had eight each, with Leasure also chipping in five assists. The Panthers were led by guard Akeem Scott with seven while Arizona Reid had six at the intermission.
The Chants got the first bucket of the second half on a layup by Sonko to push the lead to 11 at 39-28 less than a minute into the final half. CCU made it a 7-2 run to make the margin 14 with 16 minutes to play. The Panthers would cut it to nine two more times, the last at 47-38 with 12:07 to go in the contest. However, Coastal scored the next six points to surge ahead by 15 and never look back,leading by no fewer than 11 the remainder of the game. With 3:11 to go and CCU up 69-58, the Chants closed a game strong for the second consecutive outing, going on a 9-2 run to finish off the game.
Coastal finished the game hitting a stellar 54.1 percent (33-for-61) from the field, including 65.4 percent (17-for-26) in the second half. High Point was limited to just 34.4 percent (22-for-64) for the game. CCU held a 39-34 board advantage, but the difference was in the paint, where Coastal outscored the visitors 38-18, including 18-2 in the second half. CCU also cashed in for 17 fast break points to just eight for HPU.
Coastal was led by Leasure with game-highs of 23 points, including seven three-pointers, and eight assists. Leasure broke the sophomore season record for three-pointers, as he now has 87, surpassing KeKe Hicks' 83 during the 1992-93 season. Harris also had a career outing, posting career-bests of 14 points and 16 rebounds for his first career double-double. Harris' 16 rebounds tied for the 10th best single-game outing in school history. Sonko added 14 points, while Paelay added 12. High Point was led by Scott with 19, while Reid was the only other player in double figures for the Panthers with 17.
Coastal returns to the road going two hours south to take on instate-rival Charleston Southern, Thu., Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. High Point will next be in action at Birmingham-Southern, Sat., Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. CST.