CONWAY, SC The Coastal Carolina University men's basketball team picked up its second consecutive win, defeating visiting Radford, 79-61, Feb. 7. With the win, the Chanticleers split the season series and advanced to 9-14 and 6-5 in the Big South, while the Highlanders fall to 10-12 and 5-6 in league play. This was also the second win in the last three meetings for Coastal against RU.
After Coastal scored the opening basket, Radford took over the early part of the game, going on a 11-3 run to take an 11-5 advantage less than four minutes into the game. Both teams struggled to find the basket for the next six minutes, but RU continued to lead, holding their biggest lead at 18-10 with 10:08 to play in the half. The Highlanders would hold on to the lead, including leading by seven at 29-22 with 2:45 left until intermission. However, the Chanticleers chipped away with a late surge of their own, going on a 9-2 run to close out the half and tie the game at 31 at the break.
CCU struggled from the floor in the first half, hitting just 34.4 percent (11-for-32) while Radford knocked down 56 percent (14-for-25). The Chants kept it even by hitting two additional three pointers and making six free throws to RU's two. Freshmen Jack Leasure and Noah Nichols led Coastal with six each, while Brandon Jeffers led the Highlanders with 12 in the opening stanza.
After one tie and five lead changes, Coastal took the lead for good on a jumper by junior Pele Paelay to go up 42-41 with 16:44 to go. The shot kicked off a 7-0 run over three minutes for the Chants to take a 47-41 lead. RU fought back to cut it to four at 52-48 with 11:16 to play, but Coastal went on another run, this time 12-1 run in just over five minutes to go up 64-49 and take control of the game. Radford could get no closer than 11 in the final six minutes, as CCU pushed the lead to 18 three times late in the game.
Coastal made the most of their second chance opportunities, scoring 26 points, 21 in the second half, on 20 offensive rebounds. Coastal also committed a season-low seven turnovers and took advantage of 15 Radford turnovers for 16 points. Radford did hit 50 percent (25-for-50) of its shots from the field, while the Chants made 41.3 percent (26-for-63) from the floor. CCU also hit a season-high 11 triples and were 16-for-24 from the free throw line, while RU was just 8-for-17.
Leasure finished with a game-high 22 points, as four Chanticleers scored in double figures. Senior Alvin Green had 14 and Paelay and Nichols chipped in 12 and 10, respectively. Jeffers and Chris Oliver were the only Highlanders in double-digit scoring with 17 points apiece.
Coastal is back in action, Sat., Feb. 12, traveling to High Point for a 3:30 p.m. tipoff. Radford returns to the floor on Mon., Feb. 14 to host VMI at 7 p.m.