Coastal Carolina University Men's Basketball
CHANTICLEERS vs. BULLDOGS
ON THE TELEVISION: Coastal Carolina will make its only regular season on the Big South Conference's television package tonight at UNC Asheville. The game can be seen in the Conway/Myrtle Beach area on Fox Sports Net South and will be handled by Matt Hogue (play-by-play) and former Miami (FL) coach Perry Clark (color).
SERIES HISTORY: Coastal and UNC Asheville are close as can be in the overall series, with Coastal holding a slim 22-21 advantage after winning this year's first meeting in Conway. The two teams split last year's meetings, with each team taking the victory at home. Coastal won at Kimbel Arena, 73-65, before dropping the road contest to the Bulldogs, 72-68. Ironically, last year's game between UNCA and the Chanticleers at the Justice Center was also on the Big South's television package. UNCA holds a decisive 13-6 margin in Asheville.
THE COACHES: Coastal Carolina Head Coach Pete Strickland (Pittsburgh, '79) is in his seventh season at the helm of the Chanticleers and holds a 69-124 overall coaching record. Last season, Coastal posted a 14-15 mark, including 8-8 in Big South Conference play.
Eddie Biedenbach (North Carolina State, '68) is in his ninth season at the helm of the Bulldogs, with a 121-135 record at UNC Asheville and 150-186 overall in 11-plus years as a head coach. Last season, UNC Asheville was 9-20 overall and 6-10 in league play, finishing seventh in the regular season.
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 2-5 on the road in the Big South this season, with wins at VMI (Jan. 10) and Birmingham-Southern (Jan. 24) and 2-12 in road games overall.
NATIONAL RANKINGS: Coastal has two players among the top 50 in the nation in their respective categories as of Feb. 14. Jack Leasure ranks 29th with 2.9 threes per game, and 33rd in three-point field goal percentage at 41.7 percent while Pele Paelay ranks 24th in steals at 2.5 per game.
LEASURE GARNERS SIXTH WEEKLY BIG SOUTH HONOR:Coastal Carolina's Jack Leasure was named the Big South Conference/New Balance Men's Basketball Co-Freshman of the Week, Feb. 14. This is the third straight week he has won it and sixth time this season. Only one other players has accomplished that feat in league history, as Frank Harris of Davidson did it during the 1991-92 season.
Leasure averaged 22.5 points and 3.5 assists in two games last week. In CCUs win over Radford, he scored 22 points with five three-pointers and four helpers. Leasure added a team-high 23 points (one off his career high) at High Point Saturday, Feb. 12. He has now scored more than 20 points in three straight games, and owns the Big Souths longest streak with a three-point field goal at 16 consecutive games.
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 18.5 points in Big South play, while freshman Jack Leasure (11.8 to 16.3), sophomore Adrian Gross (5.6 to 6.2) and senior Alvin Green (5.7 to 8.8) have all seen significant increases in their scoring in the 13 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 3-4 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 and a four-point loss at Liberty, Feb. 14.
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 17.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.5 steals a game, leading the team in both points and steals. He has also led CCU in scoring 13 times and 11 times in rebounding, while tallying double-digit scoring in 23 of 25 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 is just out of the top 10 in assists (12th).
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 23 points, including at High Point, Feb. 12. He is now averaging 14.2 points (eighth in the Big South) and hitting 41.7 percent (73-of-175) 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. Leasure has improved his averages to 16.3 points (tied for fourth in the Big South) and 2.8 rebounds per game in league play.
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 6.1 points and 5.7 rebounds in 18 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 7.02 three pointers a game on 35.8 percent shooting.
SOME KEY ITEMS FOR COASTALS VICTORIES: Several trends developed in regards to Coastal winning early in the 2004-05 season. Coastal is 8-5 when leading at the half and 9-3 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.
THIS YEAR'S PREVIOUS MEETING --A DECISIVE WIN FOR THE CHANTICLEERS AT HOME OVER UNCA: Coastal Carolina University took an early lead and built it throughout for a 70-54 home win over UNC Asheville, Mon., Jan. 31 at Kimbel Arena.
UNCA took the first lead of the game on Omar Collingtons jumper less than a minute into the game, but that would be the last lead the Bulldogs would enjoy in the first half. Coastal took the lead for good on a three-pointer by freshman Jack Leasure with 16:43 to play in the first half. The game was tight at 15-14 before CCU went on a 11-0 run to take a 26-14 advantage with five minutes to go in the half. UNCA would fight back and cut it to just 32-25 at the intermission after Collingtons three pointer with six seconds to play in the half.
Neither team shot well in the first half, both shooting under 40 percent from the field, but Coastal dominated the boards, outrebounding the Bulldogs, 28-19. Leasure led CCU in scoring in the first half with seven while junior Pele Paelay and sophomore Moses Sonko each chipped in six. UNCA was led by senior Bryan McCullough with eight.
The Chants came out running in the second half and did not allow UNCA to come any closer than nine points the entire second half. A fastbreak dunk by Paelay at the 12:57 mark gave the Chants a 46-35 lead and sparked a 7-0 run that put the game out of reach. Coastal was effective in transition in the second half, outscoring the visiting Bulldogs 12-2 in the period.
Paelay led the Chants with 16 points, while sophomore Adrian Gross finished with his third double-double of the season with 12 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. The 16 boards tied for the 10th best single-game performance in school history. Leasure added 10 points and senior Colin Stevens chipped in 11 off the bench. Sophomore K.J. Garland led UNCA with 19 points and three boards.
The Chants controlled the boards, as they outrebounded the Bulldogs 58-38, while holding UNCA to just 32 percent shooting from the field. Coastals offense ran effectively with 20 fast break points and converted its 19 offensive boards into 19 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 MEETING AT THE JUSTICE CENTER - UNCA GETS THE WIN ON BIG SOUTH TV : Oliver Holmes scored a career-high 21 points, while Bryan McCullough and Omar Collington added 15 points as UNC Asheville downed Coastal Carolina, 72-68 in Big South Conference action at the Justice Center, Feb. 21.
McCullough finished the game with seven steals, which ties a school record. He also tied same record on Jan. 31st in a win over Radford. The junior forward also added six assists.
Holmes went 7-of-8 from the field and 6-of-6 from the free throw line. His previous career-high was 20 points at Coastal Carolina on Jan. 19th.
Coastal Carolina was led by senior guard E.J Gallups game-high 24 points, while Moses Sonko added 14 points off the bench. Alvin Green finished with 10 points and assists. The Chants were led on the boards by Clint Nagels 10 rebounds.
The Bulldogs took charge of the game midway through the second half. The game was tied at 45-45 before Asheville went on an 8-0 run to grab a 53-45 lead with 8:25 left. UNCA got points from four different players during the run.
The Dogs built the lead to 11 on a layup from Collington at 58-47 with 5:05 left. Coastal Carolina crept to 61-58 on a layup from Sonko with 2:33 remaining. But Holmes hit two free throws and scored on a 15-footer to push the lead to 65-58 at the 1:54 mark.
Coastal got as close as four on three occasions but McCullough hit four straight free throws in the final 35 seconds to allow the Bulldogs to hold Coastal off and earn their third straight win.
UNCA shot 50 percent from the field (25-of-50) and were red-hot from the free throw line as it went 18-of-21 from the line for 86 percent.
The Chanticleers shot just 39 percent (12-of-31) from the field in the second half and finished the game with 18 turnovers. Coastal Carolina dominated the boards, 40-26 and had 20 offensive rebounds to just six for UNCA.
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.
COASTAL DROPS ANOTHER HEARTBREAKER AT LIBERTY: For the fifth time in nine conference victories this season, Liberty overcame a halftime deficit, including a 10-point hole early in the second half, to post a 72-68 victory over visiting Coastal Carolina, Feb. 14, at the Vines Center.
In true Liberty versus Coastal Carolina fashion, the game was a close one as the contest marked the 12th time in the last 13 meetings between the two programs that the outcome of the contest was decided by seven or fewer points.
Liberty took the games first sizeable lead as Leo Lightbourne converted on one of two free throw attempts to give the Flames a 6-3 advantage just three minutes into the contest. But the lead would prove to be Libertys only one of the opening period as Coastal Carolina quickly responded by scoring nine of the games next 12 points to open up a three-point lead, 12-9, of their own on a Jack Leasure three-pointer with 13:30 left to play in the contest.
The three-point basket proved to be quite friendly to the Chanticleers as seven of the teams first eight field goals were from behind the arc, including a trey by Colin Stevens to push Coastal Carolinas advantage to six points, 24-18, with 9:52 left in the half. The visitors led by as much as eight points during the remainder of the period as John Burley connected on a lay-up at the 3:46 mark, while Coastal Carolina finished the period with a five-point lead, 36-31.
Coastal Carolina continued to control the pace of play in the opening minutes of the second half as the Chanticleers took the games largest lead at 10 points, 50-40, as Pele Paelay converted on 1-of-2 free throw attempts. However, the Flames finally started to find their shooting touch after the free throw attempts as Liberty scored nine-unanswered points to cut the lead to one point, 50-49, on a Doug Stewart three-pointer at the 13:05 mark.
The contest remained close over the next 10 minutes of action as neither team held more than a three-point lead, but Liberty took the lead for good with 3:36 left to play as David Dees took a feed from Brian Woodson for a lay-up, was fouled and converted on the free throw attempt to give Liberty a 62-60 edge.
Two minutes later, the margin was the same when LU's Glyn Turner nailed a jumper with 44 seconds to push the lead to four points, 68-64, while Lightbourne extended the lead to six points with a pair of free throws after Larry Blair blocked Alvin Greens driving lay-up with 34 seconds remaining. The Chanticleers were able to trim the lead to as few as three points over the remainder of the contest, but Liberty was able to stave off any chances for a Coastal Carolina run to secure their hold on second place in the Big South Conference.
Dees, who missed a portion of the second half after going down with an ankle injury, led the Flames and missed a career high by one point as the sophomore netted 26 points on 10-of-18 shooting from the field and 5-of-6 from the free throw line, while Turner and Lighbourne added 11 points. Evan Risher added a 10 points, while Woodson finished with a season-high 10 assists.
Coastal Carolina placed three players in double figures as Leasure led the squad with 16 points, Green added 13 points and four steals. Paelay rounded out the double-figurer scorers with 11 points.