COASTAL CAROLINA UNIVERSITY MEN'S BASKETBALL
CHANTICLEERS vs. FIGHTING SCOTS
Coastal Carolina's Kimbel Arena (1,039) ~ Conway, South Carolina
Wednesday, December 28, 2005 ~ 7 p.m.
THE COACHES: Coastal Carolina Head Coach Buzz Peterson (North Carolina, '86) is in his first season at the helm of the Chanticleers and holds a 170-113 overall coaching record in nine-plus seasons. Last season, Coastal posted a 10-19 mark, including 7-9 in Big South Conference play.
Bill McGee (Lubbock Christian, 82) is in his third season at Ohio Valley with a 9-57 mark with the Fighting Scots and a 192-124 record in 12-plus seasons as a head coach overall. Last season, Ohio Valley was 3-27 overall and 3-15 in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, tying for 13th. The Fighting Scots return three starters and seven letterwinners from last year's squad.
SERIES HISTORY: This is the first ever meeting between Coastal Carolina and Ohio Valley.
KIMBEL HAS ITS ADVANTAGES: Coastal Carolina's Kimbel Arena may seat just over 1,000 fans, but it had been large for the Chanticleers the previous two seasons. Coastal was 9-1 in non-conference play during the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons, with the only loss a 73-72 heartbreaker to the College of Charleston early in the 2003-04 season. Coastal was a combined 17-9 at home over the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons, and finished 8-5 in 2004-05. CCU did open the 2005-06 home schedule with a resounding 70-35 victory over Coker. The Chanticleers are 4-0 this season at home and now 16-3 since the start of the 2002-03 season in non-conference games at home.
THE STARTING LINEUP IS SET... FOR NOW: Coastal Carolina, under first year head coach Buzz Peterson, has tweaked the lineup through the first six games but has settled on the same starting five the last three games, with the group posting a 2-1 mark so far. In the first eight games, the Chanticleers have had five different starting lineups. However, three players (Pele Paelay, Jack Leasure and Moses Sonko) have started all eight games and one other (Chad Ferguson) has started seven. Guard Mario Sisinni has joined the starting lineup the last three contests.
GETTING THE START: At least one freshman has been in the starting lineup for Coastal in each of the first six contests. Of those freshman, forward Matt Brennan and guard Mario Sisinni have started the most with three each, while forward Joseph Harris has started two and guard Steven Sexton has started one.
DRAINING AND DISHING: Sophomore guard Jack Leasure has been getting the job done in a variety of ways early this year. Leasure continues to hit the outside shot, as he has drained 40 triples on 47.6 percent shooting this year and is leading the Chanticleers in scoring at 20.5 points per game. However, he has also taken on some point guard duties and made that work, as he is averaging 4.3 assists per game, including a career-best nine dishes in the win over Jacksonville, Dec. 11, as well as 2.1 steals per contest.
After averaging 22.5 points a game last week, including a career-best 33 in the win over MEAC-preseason favorite South Carolina State, Leasure was named Big South Player of the Week for the first time in his career Dec. 19.
SOME KEY ITEMS FOR COASTALS VICTORIES: Several trends developed in regards to Coastal winning in the 2005-06 season. Coastal is 4-1 when leading at the break and 4-0 when ahead with five minutes to play. Defense is always a key, as Coastal is 4-0 when holding opponents to less than 70 points, as well as 3-0 when outrebounding the opposition.
HITTING FROM LONG RANGE: Coastal hit early and often from long range in the 2004-05 season. The Chanticleers knocked down an average of 7.0 three pointers a game on 36.0 percent shooting.
In the early going this season, CCU has hit on a league-leading 38.8 percent of its three-point attempts and is averaging a league-best 9.5 triples a game, which ranks 12th in the nation as of Dec. 12. Sophomore Jack Leasure leads Division I with 5.0 three-pointers per game.
AT YOUR LEASURE: Sophomore Jack Leasure was impressive on the offensive end of the floor in his freshman season. He opened his collegiate career Nov. 19 with 16 points against Indiana State and followed it up with 17 points, including five three-pointers, at Evansville, Nov. 21. Leasure then had a career high 22 points on 6-of-11 shooting against Hawaii Nov. 26. He scored 23 points, including at High Point, Feb. 12, 2004. He averaged 14.5 points (seventh in the Big South) and hit 42.5 percent (85-of-200) from the three-point arc, second best in the Big South Conference. He also led the league and ranked 29th nationally in three-pointers per game with 2.93. Leasure improved his averages to 15.8 points (third in the Big South) and 2.8 rebounds per game in league play.
This season, Leasure leads the Chants in scoring, averaging a team-high 20.5 points a game (fourth in the Big South) and adding 3.6 rebounds. He has hit a league-best 40 three-pointers (5.0 per game), including a career-best nine in the recent win over Chowan, Dec. 19. His nine three pointers tied for the second-best performance in school history, while his seven three-pointers against Coker, Nov. 30, tied for the fifth best single game in Coastal history. He also has 34 assists (fourth in the league) and 13 steals (tied for eighth in the Big South) so far this year.
STEPPING UP THE DEFENSE: In winning four of its last six games, the Chanticleers have made the difference on the defensive end of the floor. In the four victories, Coastal has given up just 54.2 points per game and just 37.9 percent (72-for-190) shooting from the floor. Additionally, the Chants have forced 5.5 more turnovers a game in the wins, including 10.3 steals per game. Coastal has also outrebounded its opponents by 7.3 caroms a game in the four victories.
This doesn't mean Coastal hasn't been solid offensively as well in the wins. The Chants have hit on 45.8 percent (109-for-238) of their shots from the floor, including 41.6 percent (42-for-101) from the three-point arc.
Individually, guard Jack Leasure has been the leader for the Chants in the four victories, averaging 27.5 points per game in the four wins. Additionally, Leasure has hit 57.1 percent (36-for-63) of his shots from the floor, including 26 three pointers and 52.0 percent (26-for-50) shooting from beyond the arc. He also has 3.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.8 steals per game in the four victories.
STEPPING UP INSIDE: Sophomore forward Chad Ferguson has been active on the interior for Coastal this season. After averaging just 2.9 points and 1.6 rebounds per game last year, Ferguson is currently averaging 7.5 points and 3.1 rebounds a contest. He posted a career-best 11 points in the win over Jacksonville, Dec. 11, and had already set new career bests in points, rebounds, assists and steals within the first five games this season.
PAELAY GETS IT DONE: Senior Pele Paelay made things happen offensively for Coastal in the 2004-05 season. Paelay knocked down a career-high 27 points and made it his first career double-double with 11 rebounds at Evansville, Nov. 23. He later followed up that performance with 22 points and 11 rebounds at UNC Greensboro, Nov. 23. Paelay had a career-high 38 points and eight rebounds in the win at VMI, Jan. 10. The 38 points are the sixth most in school history and best in the league this year, while his 14 field goals tied for third in CCU annals. For the season, Paelay averaged a league-bests of 16.8 points and 2.4 steals per game and added 6.0 rebounds. He also led CCU in scoring 15 times and 12 times in rebounding, while tallying double-digit scoring in 27 of 29 contests. He was the only player in the Big South Conference to rank in the top 10 in scoring (1st), rebounding (6th) and steals (1st) and was 11th in assists.
This season, Paelay is averaging 15.1 points (seventh in the Big South) and 4.4 rebounds in the first seven contests. He had his best game of the season so far at Minnesota, tallying a game-high 23 points on 8-for-12 shooting, including 4-for-7 from the three-point arc. He added two rebounds, five assists and one steal in the effort. He tied that mark with 23 points in the home win over Jacksonville, Dec. 11.
MAKING THE DEBUT A POSITIVE ONE: Freshman Matt Brennan had a positive impact in the opener at Jacksonville State, Nov. 21. In his collegiate debut, Brennan started and played 28 minutes, scoring 15 points, including 3-for-3 from the field and 9-for-11 from the free throw line.
Brennan is currently fifth for Coastal in scoring at 4.3 points per game and leads the squad and leads the team in rebounding at 4.5 boards per contest.
WHERE'S THE BENCH?: Coastal is continuing support from the bench after its first six games of the season. Coastal has gotten just 85 points off the bench in the first seven contests of the year, just 15.9 percent of the offensive production for the Chanticleers. The best output came in the South Carolina State game, as the bench chipped in 22 points (30.6 percent) in CCU's third consecutive home victory over South Carolina State Dec. 14.
TONIGHT'S INJURY REPORT: For the game against Ohio Valley, forward Logan Johnson (right knee) is questionable.
YOUTH IS SERVED THIS YEAR: Of the 16 players on the Coastal roster to open this season, eight are freshmen new to the team, while a ninth redshirted last year. Among the returners, there are two seniors, two juniors and three sophomores.
GETTING THE WIN HEADING INTO THE HOLIDAYS: The Coastal Carolina mens basketball team fought through a sluggish shooting game but came away with a 81-59 win over visiting Chowan, Dec. 19 in Kimbel Arena. The last time CCU went into the break at .500 or better was the 2002-03 season, when Coastal was 5-4 heading into the Christmas holiday.
The Chanticleers came out in strong fashion, opening the game with an 11-2 run over the first three minutes of the first half. However, Chowan scrapped throughout the opening period, keeping the deficit under double figures the entire half. The visiting Braves cut the margin to just two at 24-22 with 5:57 to play on a Marcus Artis jumper. The Chanticleers then closed the half out strong, going on an 13-6 run, capped off by guard Jack Leasures three-pointer to end the half, and CCU entered the lockerroom with a 37-28 halftime advantage.
The game remained close in the early minutes of the second half, but back-to-back triples by Leasure pushed the margin to 15 at 51-36 with 14:52 to play. CCU led 53-40 with 11:26 to go and went on a 9-0 run from there over the next three minutes to make the lead 62-40. Chowan continued to fight, but Coastals lead never went below 14 the remainder of the game.
Coastal shot 45.5 percent (30-for-66) for the game, including a solid 60.7 percent (17-for-28) in the second half. CCU was an even better 50.0 percent (14-for-28) from the three-point arc and outrebounded the visitors 41-30.
Leasure led all scorers with 29 points, including a career-best nine three pointers, the second most in school history. Guard Pele Paelay had 20 points and a team-high seven rebounds, while forward Moses Sonko added 16 points. Chowan was led by Artis with 11 points, while guard Trayvon Lathan was the only other Brave in double figures with 10 points.
LOSING AT UNC WILMINGTON: The Coastal Carolina mens basketball team fell to UNC Wilmington, 79-50, Sat., Dec. 17.
In the first half, forward Chad Ferguson struck first for CCU after almost two minutes of play for a quick 2-0 lead, but UNCW quickly responded with a three-point shot from guard John Goldsberry. A close 5-5 game was soon ended when the Seahawks controlled the game and gained a 12-7 lead they would never relinquish. The Chants closed in after a three-point from guard Jack Leasure which cut the UNCW lead to 12-10 game and guard Pele Paelays free throw made it 12-11 with 14:22 to go in the half. UNCW then broke open a close game with a 12-2 run over the next 2:29 to build a 24-13 lead. After the lead was cut to seven at 26-19 with 7:59 to go, the Seahawks closed out the half on a 15-5 run and took a 41-24 lead into the halftime lockerroom.
UNC Wilmington outrebounded Coastal 22-11 in the first half and outshot the Chanticleers, hitting on 50.0 percent (16-for-32) from the field, while CCU was just 40.9 percent (9-for-22) from the floor. Coastal also committed 10 turnovers that UNCW turned into 13 points.
In the second half, the Seahawks extended the lead, pushing it to 22 at 50-28 with 15:30 to go in the contest. The Chants continued to fight, going on a 9-2 run over the next 4:20 to cut the lead to 15 at 52-37, but that was as close as Coastal would get for the remainder of the game. UNCW pushed the lead out throughout the remainder of the game, finishing with their biggest lead of the game at the end of 29 points.
The Seahawks were even better from the floor in the second half, hitting on 60.9 percent (14-for-23) from the floor, finishing the game at 54.5 percent (30-for-55). Coastal hit just 40.5 percent (17-for-42) on its shots and were outrebounded 37-23 for the game.
Paelay led the Chants effort with team highs of 14 points and five rebounds, while Leasure added 12 points, all on three-pointers, two rebounds, and two assists. Ferguson finished the game with 10 points.
Goldsberry led the way for the Seahawks victory with 17 points, including going 4-for-5 from the three point line. Guard Daniel Fountain added 12 points, while forward Vladimir Kuljanin chipped in 11 in the Seahawks victory.
GETTING THE INSTATE WIN OVER THE BULLDOGS: Coastal Carolinas mens basketball team took a lead early in the first half and never relinquished it en route to a 72-57 victory over instate-rival South Carolina State, Dec. 14.
SC State got on the board first and the two teams exchanged leads through the first two minutes before guard Jack Leasures three-pointer put Coastal up 7-5 with 17:38 to go in the half. That triple was the start of a 10-2 run for the Chants that put the home squad up 14-7 with 14:54 to go in the opening stanza. SCSU fought back to cut the margin to four at 14-10 and later to six at 22-16 halfway through the half, but Coastal opened it up to as many as 19 in the first half at 43-24 with 1:28 to go. However, the Bulldogs scored the final four points of the first half to go into the lockerroom with a little momentum but CCU leading 43-28.
South Carolina State continued to chip into the Coastal through the first six and half minutes of the second half, cutting the lead to 46-38 with 13:21 to go. CCUs Leasure then hit another three-pointer to push the margin back to 11 at 49-38. SCSU would cut the lead to eight twice more, including at 53-48 with 10:22 to go. However, the Chants defense toughened up and Coastal started to convert down the stretch, going on a 10-2 run over the next five minutes to put the game out of reach at 63-47 with 5:11 to go.
Coastal hit on 52.1 percent (25-for-48) of its shots from the floor, including 60.7 percent (17-for-28) in the first half, while limiting SCSU to just 37.2 percent (16-for-43) from the floor for the game. The Chants converted 15 SCSU turnovers into 22 points and Coastals bench scored a season-high 22 points in the victory.
Leasure finished with a career-high 33 points, hitting 9-for-14 from the floor, 6-for-9 from the three-point line and 9-for-9 at the free throw stripe. He also added four assists and three steals to the effort. Forward Adrian Gross led Coastal on the glass with seven rebounds, while forward Matt Brennan chipped in seven points and six rebounds. South Carolina State was led by Brian Mason with 19 points, while Thurman Zimmerman had a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds.
LEADING FROM START TO FINISH: After eight days off for finals, the Coastal Carolina mens basketball team came out solid and led from start to finish in an 81-66 victory over visiting Jacksonville, Dec. 11.
The Chanticleers got out to a good start, scoring the first six points of the game in less than two minutes on baskets by guards Pele Paelay, Steven Sexton and Jack Leasure. JU got on the board with their first basket by Antonio Cool with 17:49 to go to trail 6-2, but the Dolphins could not get closer than that the remainder of the game. CCU continued to push the advantage throughout the first half, eventually building a lead of as many as 16 in the first half. The Chants finished with a 44-31 halftime advantage.
CCU forced 17 Jacksonville turnovers in the first half, converting them into 21 points, and the Chants posted 15 fast break points to just two for the visiting Dolphins. Leasure tallied 18 in the first half for Coastal, while Paelay had 11. JU was led by Aubrey Conerly with 12 points in the opening stanza.
The Chants opened the second stanza on the attack again, scoring the first four points of the half to push the margin to 17. Coastal continued to attack on both ends of the floor and it showed on the scoreboard, as at 52-35, the Chants went on a 13-5 run to make it 65-40 with 12:36 to go and put the game out of reach. Coastal led again by 25 at 77-52 with 4:30 to go before a late JU surge cut the margin to 11 at 77-66 with just 1:37 to go in the game. CCU scored the final five points of the game for the 81-66 final margin.
Coastal shot 45.6 percent (31-for-68) from the floor for the contest, slightly better than JUs 43.4 percent (23-for-53). The Chants outrebounded the visitors 39-36, as well as forcing 22 JU turnovers that were turned into 31 Coastal points. Coastal also outscored JU in the paint 36-26.
Leasure led all scorers, tying a career-high with 25 points, while also posting a career-best nine assists. Paelay chipped in 23 points and six rebounds, while forward Chad Ferguson had a career-best 11 points and chipped in five rebounds. Jacksonville was led by Conerly with 21 points, with forward Marcus Allen posting a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds.
A SURPRISING PRESEASON POLL: Coastal was picked to finish second in the 2005 Big South Preseason Poll, announced at the league's annual Media Day in Charlotte, N.C., Oct. 15. The poll, voted on by the league's head coaches, sports information directors and selected media members, selected Winthrop as the first-ever unanimous favorite, as the Eagles return all five starters from last year's championship team. UNC Asheville was selected third, one point behind Coastal. Liberty was picked fourth, followed by High Point, Birmingham-Southern, Radford, Charleston Southern and VMI, respectively.
LIVE ON THE RADIO AND THE WEB: Coastal Carolina men's basketball will be broadcast live on "The Team", 93.9 FM, 93.7 FM and 1050 AM in the Conway/Myrtle Beach area, as well as on the Internet at www.GoCCUSports.com. Matt Hogue returns for his eighth year as "Voice of the Chanticleers". In addition, a returning feature this year will be Live Game Stats of all CCU home basketball games on the Internet.