Charleston Southern came out and grabbed the early lead, pushing it to as many as seven at 19-12. However playing on Senior Night where six seniors were honored in pre-game ceremonies, the Chanticleers were not going to be denied. CCU put together a 14-3 run over the next 5:19 and then another 12-4 run to close out the half , including senior center Anthony Susnjaras putback at the buzzer, and go into the lockerroom with a 38-28 halftime margin.
Coastal built the lead to 15 at 45-30 less than three minutes into the second half, but the Buccaneers would cut it to five on a 12-2 run of their own to make it 47-42 with 11:54 to play. However, the dagger would come again in the form of senior guard E.J. Gallup, as he hit a three pointer just 15 seconds later to end the run and put CCU on a 11-1 run of their own to put the game away. The lead was built as high as 20 in the last two minutes of the game before a pair of late CSU buckets provided the final margin.
Coastal again dominated the glass, outrebounding Charleston Southern 41-28, including 19 offensive rebounds, and outscoring the Bucs 22-2 on second-chance points. Coastal also got it done inside, as the Chants led the points in the paint 32-18.
CCU was led by Gallup with a game-high 22 points, while freshman forward Moses Sonko scored 12 and added six rebounds. Susnjara and sophomore guard Pele Paelay each added eight points and six rebounds. Charleston Southern was paced by Thomas Harrison with 13 points, while Trent Drafts and Kurtis Rice added 12 and 11, respectively.
The win was the 13th of the year, tying the most under head coach Pete Strickland, set during the 2002-03 season. The eighth Big South Conference victory was also the most under Strickland and the most since the 1993-94 season when CCU was 10-8.
Coastal will now host fifth-seeded Radford, Tuesday, March 2 in Kimbel Arena at 7 p.m. The winner will meet the winner of the No. 1 Liberty/No. 8 Charleston Southern game, also to be played March 2, on Thursday, March 4. CCU tickets can be purchased on Monday from 9 a.m. until noon by season ticket holders, with all seats going on sale at noon. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and children and can be purchased by calling 843-347-TIXX or 1-877-4CHANTS.