CONWAY, S.C. - Coastal Carolina Universitys mens basketball team could not find a way to come from behind and defeat visiting Birmingham-Southern, losing to the visiting Panthers, 68-55, Feb. 26 at Kimbel Arena. With the loss, Coastal falls to 10-18 overall and 7-9 in the league, while BSC advances to 15-13 and 7-9 in Big South play. After the tiebreakers occurred in the five-way tie at 7-9, Coastal is the eighth seed and will take on top-seeded Winthrop, Tue., Mar. 1 at 7 p.m. at the Winthrop Coliseum in the first round of the Advance Auto Parts Big South Conference Tournament.
Birmingham-Southern took the lead from the outset, with Coastal only managing a tie at 2-2, before a 7-0 Panther run, capped by a James Collins three-pointer, put the visitors up 9-2 and they would never trail again. BSC built the lead to as many as 15 on two occasions in the opening half, but senior Alvin Greens three-pointer at the halftime buzzer cut it to eight at the intermission, 35-27.
BSC hit 52.2 percent (12-for-23) from the field in the opening stanza, while the Chanticleers were limited to just 32.1 percent (9-for-28) from the floor and the Panthers won the battle of the boards, 20-12. Guard Jakob Sigurdarson led BSC in the first half with 11, while Coastal was led by freshman Jack Leasure with seven.
Coastal came out firing in the second half and quickly cut the lead down to one at 38-37 with 15:33 to go in the game. However, Birmingham-Southern went on a 11-2 run over the next five minutes to push the lead back to 10 at 49-39. CCU did cut into the lead again in the late going, trailing by just five at 55-50 with 5:20 to play, but the Panthers again had the answer, ending the game on a 13-5 push.
For the game, BSC shot 46.3 percent (19-for-41) from the field, while holding the Chants to just 28.0 percent (14-for-50) and outrebounding Coastal, 39-32. Coastal did take advantage of 19 BSC turnovers to the tune of 22 points. Sigurdarson led three Panthers in double figures with 16 points, while Collins and Augustinas Vitas added 14 and 11, respectively. Coastal was led by Leasure and Pele Paelay, who each scored 10.