Junior Pele Pealey (Derwood, Md./Magruder) had career highs of 27 points and 11 rebounds and the Coastal Carolina University mens basketball team (0-2) was up by as many 12 points in the first half, but a 24-7 run to end the first half ignited Evansville (2-0) to an 87-80 victory over the Chanticleers, Nov. 21, in Evansville, Ind.
Coastal got things going with a 9-0 run that was capped with a three-pointer from senior Colin Stevens (Phoenix, Md./Delany) and a layup by sophomore Moses Sonko (East Greenwich, R.I./Classical). Evansville cut the Coastal lead to two, but seven straight points by Pealay gave Coastal a 25-17 lead with 10 minutes left. Freshman Jack Leasure (Rochester, N.Y./McQuaid Jesuit) then hit three three-pointers in a span of three minutes that gave the Chants a 36-24 lead with 5:49 left. But Evansville cut the lead with four free throws and a three from Lucious Wagner. Two more free throws by Justin Petty and layups by Bradley Strickland and Andre Burton, and the Coastal lead was evaporated. A Petty layup at 3:16 gave the Purple Aces their first lead since the 17:03 mark. Senior Alvin Green (Socastee, S.C./Socastee) tied the game at 43 at 1:28, but a Petty layup and a three from Kyle Anslinger gave UE a five-point halftime lead at 48-43.
Evansville extended the lead to double digits on a Wagner three at 14:47. Strickland gave the Purple Aces its largest lead, 69-54, at 9:02. The lead would stay in double digits until Coastal made a late run. Stevens hit a three at 2:46 to cut the lead to seven. After a steal, Pealeys layup made the score 79-74 at 2:30. After free throws extended the lead to eight, Pealey hit a jumper to trim the advantage to six at 1:11. The Purple Aces, however, iced the game by hitting five free throws in the last minute. The Purple Aces scored 16 of its last 18 points off of free throws.
Pealey also had four assists and six steals to go along with his two career highs. Senior Clint Nagel (Loveland, Ohio/Moeller) had a career-high 12 rebounds and added nine points. Leasure had his second straight solid performance, going 5-of-7 from three-point range for 17 points.
Strickland had a double-double for the Purple Aces with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Evansville had six players in double figures for the second straight game.
Coastal shot 48.4 percent from the field and 50 percent (10-of-20) from three-point range. Coastal outrebounded the Purple Aces 40-7.
Coastal travels to Greensboro, N.C., to face UNC Greensboro, Tuesday, Nov. 23, at 5 p.m.