CONWAY, S.C. -- Coastal Carolina's men's basketball squad overcame a six-point deficit in the second half with a 19-1 run and finished it off for an 83-66 victory over visiting Canisius as part of the O'Reilly ESPNU BracketBusters, Feb. 17. With the win locking up their second straight .500 or better season, the Chanticleers advanced to 15-12 on the season, while the Golden Griffins fell to 11-16.
Coastal raced out to a 14-2 lead in the first four minutes on the strength of four Chanticleer triples, three of them from freshman guard Joshua Mack. Canisius used 14 first half offensive rebounds turned into 15 points to battle back and take the lead at 24-22 on Chuck Harris' layup. David Johnson's fast break layup extended the Golden Griffins' advantage to 30-23 with 5:54 remaining in the first. The Chants clawed back and trailed by one at the intermission 34-33.
The Griffs again pushed the lead out, this time to six at 49-43 with 15:19 to go in the game, and the lead was 50-45 Canisius with 13:21 to play. From there on, Coastal dominated the game, going on a 19-1 run over the next 6:55 to take a strong 64-51 lead with just 6:53 to play. Canisius did trim it to seven on a 8-2 run of its own, but another surge by CCU, this time a 13-3 push over just 3:30 put the game out of reach at 79-62 with 1:39 remaining. Coastal held the visitors to just 16 points over the last 13:20 of the contest.
Coastal hit 48.1 percent (26-for-54) from the field for the contest, including 58.3 percent (14-for-24) in the second half, while Canisius shot just 41.5 percent (27-for-65) from the floor. CCU took advantage of the three-point arc, going 11-for-26 (42.3 percent) while the Golden Griffins were held to just 12.5 percent (2-for-16) in the game. Canisius won the battle of the boards, 41-31, including 21 offensive rebounds, but Coastal made chairty count, hitting 20-of-25 from the free throw line. The Chants also had just nine turnovers in the contest, one shy of a season low.
Junior guard Jack Leasure led all scorers with 23 points, hitting 8-for-16 from the field and 5-for-10 from the arc, with 18 of his points coming in the second half. Mack finished with 19, including four triples, while senior forward Moses Sonko chipped in 12 points and seven boards. Canisus was led by forward Darnell Wilson's double-double fo 20 points and 11 rebounds. Guard Frank Turner posted 12, while Harris and guard Corey Herring added 11 and 10, respectively.
The Chanticleers stay home for the final two regular-season Big South games, starting with UNC Asheville, Thu., Feb. 22 at 7 p.m., followed by two-time defending champion Winthrop, Sat., Feb. 24 at 2 p.m.