The first half was a battle, with six ties and two lead changes. UNC Asheville had an early lead at 6-4, but Coastal put together a 17-6 run over 7:25 to go up 21-12 with 6:53 remaining in the first half. However, the Bulldogs came back quickly with a 7-0 run in just 52 seconds to cut the margin to just two. The game was eventually tied at 26 and 28 with the visitors going up 30-28 on junior guard K.J. Garland's two free throws with 26 seconds left. However, a technical was called on UNCA's freshman guard Donovan Jones with just over 10 seconds remaining in the half. After junior guard Jack Leasure canned the two techinical free throws, Coastal could not get a score, and the two teams entered the halftime lockerroom knotted at 30.
After Coastal took a 36-34 lead early in the second half, UNCA had another rush, this time outscoring CCU 16-2 in 6:28 to take control of the game at 50-38 with 10:38 to go. The Chanticleers went on a 7-0 run of their own to cut it to 50-45, but UNCA answered with seven unanswered points to lead 57-45 with 6:47 to play. Coastal could get no closer than 10 down the stretch.
Asheville had three players in double figures as the Bulldogs shot 53.1 percent from the field. Garland led the team with 19 points and seven assists while All-Big South Second Team selection Bryan Smithson added 16 points. Kenny George had his first career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Asheville went 22-of-32 from the free-throw line and had seven blocks.
Coastal was led Leasure with 16 points and five rebounds. Fellow All-Big South Second Team member Moses Sonko had 14 points while Big South Freshman of the Year Joshua Mack added 13 points and four assists. Coastal was led in rebounding by Joseph Harris with 11 caroms. Coastal shot 35.9 percent from the field and were just 3-of-22 from three-point range.
UNCA Head Coach Eddie Biedenbach
Tournament time is a special time of year. Down the stretch, our big guys started to get healthy and our forwards started to play better. The last five or six games we have been playing better and it has showed in the outcomes. We did get some confidence winning here last week, but we knew they would have the early emotional advantage playing at home. But we hit some shots and then got some defensive stops in the second half to really get on top. We are excited to move on and take on Winthrop, but I want to congratulate Coastal on a great season.
Coastal Carolina Head Coach Buzz Peterson
I want to congratulate UNC Asheville. Right now, they are a very good basketball team and playing very solid basketball. We just didn't have an answer for the inside game they had tonight and that could be the situation for a lot of teams in this tournament. But I want to thank our seniors for all of their hard work over the last two years and their dedication to Coastal Carolina in their careers. They are a key part of why we have come so far in just a short time.