Coastal Carolina University Men's Basketball
CHANTICLEERS vs. FLAMES
SERIES HISTORY: Liberty holds a 20-14 advantage in the series overall, including a 11-7 lead at the Vines Center. Last season, Coastal won the home game in dramatic fashion but lost twice at Liberty, including the Big South Semifinal matchup. Liberty has won the last three and six of the last seven meetings between the two programs.
THE COACHES: Coastal Carolina Head Coach Pete Strickland (Pittsburgh, '79) is in his seventh season at the helm of the Chanticleers and holds a 69-123 overall coaching record. Last season, Coastal posted a 14-15 mark, including 8-8 in Big South Conference play.
Randy Dunton (Baptist Bible College, 84) is in his fourth season at Liberty, with a 53-60 record as a head coach for the Flames. Overall, he has an 85-84 record in his fifth full season as a head coach overall. Last season, Liberty posted an 18-15 record overall and tied for first in the Big South with a 12-4 record and captured the tournament title.
THE WINDING ROAD HAS NOT BEEN KIND: After posting a 4-4 record on the road in the Big South last season, CCU is now 2-4 on the road in the Big South this season, with wins at VMI (Jan. 10) and Birmingham-Southern (Jan. 24) and 2-11 in road games overall.
NATIONAL RANKINGS: Coastal has two players among the top 50 in the nation in their respective categories as of Feb. 7. Jack Leasure ranks 34th with 2.9 threes per game, and 35th in three-point field goal percentage at 42.1 percent while Pele Paelay ranks 20th in steals at 2.6 per game.
REASONS FOR THE CURRENT ROLL: The Chanticleers are one of the hottest teams in the Big South Conference right now, having won four of their last six games. There are several reasons for this success. Coastal has outrebounded its six opponents by 4.2 boards a game, including a staggering 5.8 additional offensive rebounds. Along with creating 3.2 more turnovers a game, that has given the Chants 58 more shots in the five games, an average of 9.7 more shots. Additionally, CCU has increased its pressure outside the arc, hitting more than twice the number of threes (43 to 19) and limiting opponents to just 25.3 percent from the three-point line.
UPPING THE GAME IN LEAGUE PLAY: It is said that teams have to step up their play when they get to league play, and CCU is proof of that in the Big South stats this season. Junior Pele Paelay has increased his scoring average from 16.4 points in non-conference action to 19.2 points in Big South play, while freshman Jack Leasure (11.8 to 16.3), sophomore Adrian Gross (5.6 to 6.6) and senior Alvin Green (5.7 to 8.4) have all seen significant increases in their scoring in the first 12 league tilts.
CLOSE CALLS IN THE BIG SOUTH A REGULAR FOR CCU: Games in the Big South are always a battle, and last year's numbers prove it for Coastal Carolina. Last season in the league, 11 of CCU's 16 Big South contests were decided by nine points or less, with Coastal holding a 4-7 mark in those games. CCU is now 3-3 in its Big South games decided by nine or less. Earlier this season, CCU defeated Winthrop by eight and lost by seven to Liberty. CCU earned a one-point win at Birmingham-Southern, Jan. 24. The Chants dropped a gut-wrenching two-point game at Charleston Southern, Feb. 3, but rebounded with a five-point win over VMI, Feb. 5. Most recently, Coastal dropped a seven-point game at High Point, Feb. 12.
PAELAY GETS IT DONE: Junior Pele Paelay has made things happen offensively for Coastal this season. Paelay knocked down a career-high 27 points and made it his first career double-double with 11 rebounds at Evansville, Nov. 23. He later followed up that performance with 22 points and 11 rebounds at UNC Greensboro, Nov. 23. Paelay had a career-high 38 points and eight rebounds in the win at VMI, Jan. 10. The 38 points are the sixth most in school history and best in the league this year, while his 14 field goals tied for third in CCU annals. For the season, Paelay is averaging a league-best 17.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.6 steals a game, leading the team in both points and steals. He has also led CCU in scoring 12 times and 10 times in rebounding, while tallying double-digit scoring in 22 of 24 contests. He is the only player in the Big South Conference to rank in the top 10 in scoring (1st), rebounding (7th) and steals (1st) and assists (10th).
AT YOUR LEASURE: Freshman Jack Leasure has been impressive on the offensive end of the floor in his first 23 collegiate games. He opened his collegiate career Nov. 19 with 16 points against Indiana State and followed it up with 17 points, including five three-pointers, at Evansville, Nov. 21. Leasure then had a career high 22 points on 6-of-11 shooting against Hawaii Nov. 26. He recently scored a career-best 24 points, including five three-pointers, in the home win over Winthrop, Jan. 5. He is now averaging 14.1 points (eighth in the Big South) and hitting 42.2 percent (70-of-166) from the three-point arc,third best in the Big South Conference. He also leads the league in three-pointers per game with 2.92.
CAREER HIGHS FOR GROSS: After only scoring two points all of 2003-04, sophomore Adrian Gross showed he can be a major part of the Coastal squad this season. He put it all together for his first career double-double with then career-highs of 13 points and a team-high 11 rebounds at UNC Greensboro, Nov. 23. He surpassed both career-bests with his second double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds at home against High Point, Jan. 17. He posted his third double-double with 12 points and a career-high 16 rebounds in the home win over UNC Asheville, Jan. 30. The 16 rebounds tie for the 10th most in school history. He is now averaging 6.3 points and 5.7 rebounds in 17 games.
HITTING FROM LONG RANGE: Coastal has hit early and often from long range in the 2004-05 season. The Chanticleers have knocked down an average of 6.9 three pointers a game on 35.5 percent shooting.
SOME KEY ITEMS FOR COASTALS VICTORIES: Several trends developed in regards to Coastal winning early in the 2004-05 season. Coastal is 8-4 when leading at the half and 9-2 when leading with five minutes to go in the game. CCU is also 7-2 when holding opponents under 70 points and 6-0 when getting to the free throw line more than its opponents. Conversely, the Chanticleers are 0-11 when trailing at halftime, with an average deficit of 10.8 points at the intermission in those games they trail at the half.
LEASURE PICKS UP FIFTH WEEKLY BIG SOUTH HONOR:Coastal Carolina's Jack Leasure was named the Big South Conference/New Balance Men's Basketball Freshman of the Week, Feb. 7. This is the second straight week he has won it and fifth time this season. Only three other players have accomplished that feat in league history (Joe Spinks (5)-Campbell-1990-91, Frank Harris (6)-Davidson-1991-92, Tyrone Walker (5)-Winthrop-2000-01).
The freshman guard averaged 13.7 points and 3.3 rebounds a game in helping CCU to a 2-1 record on the week. He scored 10 points in the home win over UNC Asheville, 11 at Charleston Southern and then chipped in 20 points, including two key three pointers in the closing minutes, in the home in over VMI. He also doled out six assists and had three steals on the week.
THIS YEAR'S PREVIOUS MEETING --LOSING ANOTHER CLASSIC GAME WITH LIBERTY: Coastal Carolina Universitys mens basketball team shot just 38.8 percent from the field in losing a tough 71-64 game to visiting Liberty, Jan. 15.
This was a classic battle throughout, as no team led by more than four points in the opening half. There were 13 lead changes and a tie, before the visiting Flames went into the halftime lockerroom with a slim 30-29 advantage.
Liberty pushed the advantage to four on the first possession of the second half, as Glyn Turner knocked down a three-pointer from the corner to put the Flames up 33-29. However, this would start a trend of trading baskets, as Liberty would lead by no more than six thought the majority of the second half. Coastal cut it to one on two occasions in the late going, including 62-61 with 2:57 to play, but couldnt ever wrestle the lead away from the visitors. CCU had several chances late to make it a one-possession game, the last with less than a minute to go, but could not convert.
For the game, Coastal struggled from the field, hitting just 38.8 percent from the field. After shooting 42 percent from the three-point arc in the last nine games, the Chants hit a paltry 19.0 percent (4-for-21) from three-point range in the game. Liberty was solid offensively, hitting 51.0 percent of its shots from the field and outrebounding the Chanticleers 37-34. The Flames also went to the free-throw line 12 more times than CCU, hitting 15-of-23 while Coastal was just 8-of-11.
JuniorPele Paelay and freshman Jack Leasure led Coastal with 14 points each, while sophomore Moses Sonko chipped in 10 points. Senior Leo Lightbourne led all scorers with a career-high 27 points and eight rebounds, while sophomore contributed 15 points.
LIVE ON THE RADIO AND THE WEB: Coastal Carolina men's basketball will be broadcast live on "The Team", 93.9 FM, 93.7 FM and 1050 AM in the Conway/Myrtle Beach area, as well as on the Internet at www.GoCCUSports.com. Matt Hogue returns for his eighth year as "Voice of the Chanticleers". In addition, a returning feature this year will be Live Game Stats of all CCU home basketball games on the Internet.
LAST SEASON'S MEETINGS - CHANTS GET THRILLING BIG SOUTH WIN OVER LIBERTY: Senior guard E.J. Gallup hit a three-pointer with eight seconds to play to lift Coastal Carolina to a 67-65 victory over visiting Liberty, Jan. 3, 2004, in the Big South Conference Mens Basketball opener for both teams.
Coastal got off to a good start, getting the opening basket and eventually building a 24-12 lead with 7:55 to play in the first half. However, the Flames would battle back, going on a 10-0 run over the next 2:20 to cut the lead to 24-22 and would eventually tie it at 25-25 with 4:18 to play in the half. Coastal did not relinquish the lead and Gallups three-pointer from 26 feet out ended the first half and gave CCU a 36-32 margin at the intermission.
Liberty continued to chip away, earning its first lead at 44-43 with 14:50 to go in the game, but CCU came right back and led 48-44 less than two minutes later. The game continued to be a tight battle down the stretch, with the Flames taking a three-point lead at 65-62 on Gabe Martins jumper with 2:57 to play in the game. A pair of Brandon Newby free throws 34 seconds later cut the margin to 65-64. Both teams missed shots down the stretch, setting up the dramatic shot by Gallup for the game-winner.
This was the first time Coastal had hosted a Big South Conference opener in six years and won just their second Big South opener in that period. Liberty outshot the Chants, 48.1 percent to 39.7 percent, but CCU won the rebounding battle 34-32, forced four more turnovers and dominated at the free throw line, going 16-for-20 as compared to the Flames 7-for-11.
Gallup led the Chanticleers with 17 points, while Newby posted his second double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore guard Colin Stevens tied a season high with nine points off the bench, hitting a perfect 4-for-4 from the floor. Liberty was led by freshman Larry Blair with 20 points, while Martin finished with 16.
LAST SEASON'S REGULAR SEASON MEETING AT LIBERTY -- COASTAL CANT MAKE IT BACK AGAINST LIBERTY: Coastal turned the ball over 26 times in the game and couldnt overcome it in a 79-65 loss to Liberty at the Vines Center, Feb. 7.
Liberty opened up a tight game with a 10-1 run midway through the first half as a three-pointer by Brian Woodson capped the run at the 12:51 mark. Coastal Carolina cut the Flames lead to just two points on two different occasions over the next 10 minutes of action, with the second occurrence coming after a E.J. Gallup three-pointer with 3:06 left to play before the intermission.
However, the Flames scored 12 of the final 14 points in the first half to take a 12-point advantage, 34-22, into the locker room at halftime. The Flames forced the Chanticleers to turn the ball over 16 times in the first half, while Liberty finished with 11 steals.
The Flames maintained a comfortable lead over the first 10 minutes of the second half and led by as much as 17 points at the 9:27 mark; however, Coastal Carolina made one last push to win the game as a pair of free throws by Pele Paelay capped a 13-4 run by the Chanticleers and trimmed the lead to six points, 60-54, with 4:47 left to play. However, Liberty converted on 14-of-17 free throw attempts during the remainder of the game to seal the victory and gradually pull away from the visitors in their seventh-straight home win.
The Flames placed four players in double figures as Gabe Martin led the squad with 20 points, including a perfect 11-for-11 outing at the free throw line, while Jason Sarchet followed with a season-high 18 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field and 10-of-14 from the free throw line. Woodson also netted a season-high with 15 points, which was aided by a 3-for-5 outing from three-point range, while David Dees came off the bench to finish with 13 points.
Gallup led the Chanticleers with a game-high 22 points as he was 8-for-17 from the field, including 4-for-8 from three-point range, while adding a game-high 10 rebounds. Moses Sonko came off the bench to score 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field, while adding nine rebounds.
LAST SEASON'S TOURNAMENT GAME AT LIBERTY -- LOSING IN THE BIG SOUTH SEMIS TO LIBERTY: Libertys Larry Blair tossed in 23 points on 9-for-16 shooting to lead the top-seeded Liberty Flames to an 88-73 win over fourth-seeded Coastal Carolina in the semifinals of the Advance Auto Parts Big South Basketball Tournament.
Gabe Martin (16), Louvon Sneed (10) and Brian Woodson (10) all posted double figure scoring efforts for the Flames, while Brandon Newby (28), Moses Sonko (11) and Colin Stevens (11) had double digits for the Chants. Coastal Carolina battled throughout and lost to the top-seeded Liberty Flames, 88-73, Mar. 4 in the Advance Auto Parts Big South Conference Tournament Semifinals. Brandon Newby had a game-high 28 points to reach 1,000 points for his career in a game that was much closer than the final score.
The Flames jumped out to a quick nine-point lead at the 15:50 mark of the first half on seven early points from Blair, the Big South Freshman of the Year. However, the Chants battled back and claimed their first lead of the contest at the 9:47 mark on a three-pointer from All-Big South selection E.J. Gallup to take an 18-16 advantage. The Flames gradually built the lead back out to six going into halftime, capped by a Blair three-pointer with six seconds left in the first stanza to set the six-point halftime margin.
The Flames shot 48.5 percent in the first half on 16-33 shooting and were led by a 6-for-9 performance by Blair for 14 first half points. Coastal Carolina (14-15) tossed in 48 percent from the field on 12-for-25 shooting, including a 7-for-8 clip by Brandon Newby for 15 points. Libertys Gabe Martin, an All Big-South performer snatched six first-half rebounds to lead the Flames to a 19-14 advantage on the boards.
Liberty built the lead back out to eight points four times in the second half, the last time on a pair of free throws from Jason Sarchet at the 4:04 mark to give Liberty a 68-60 lead. However, the upstart Chanticleers continued to battle back each time to stay in striking distance.Martin fired in a three-pointer at the 2:47 mark to put the Flames up by six only to see the Chants trim the deficit back to three on a Kelvin Coggins three 10 seconds later.
Newby left the game with an injury late in the second half with 28 points on 13-for-15 shooting, including a 2-for-3 effort from three-point land. That tally gave Newby 1,000 points for his career. The Chants could not recover and stumbled down the stretch as Liberty pulled out to a comfortable margin.
For the game, the Flames shot 48.5 percent on 30-for 64 shooting and made 38 percent from three-point range (6-for-16). Coastal shot 50.9 percent (28-for-55) and 40 percent from long range (6-for-15). Liberty held a commanding 44-27 advantage on the boards, led by nine from Martin.