Men's Basketball Rallies for 79-68 Win Over Georgia State
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- Coastal Carolina's men's basketball overcame a 16-point halftime deficit and rallied for a 79-68 victory over visiting Georgia State at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, Dec. 22. With their second straight win, Coastal goes to 6-5 heading into the holiday break, while the Panthers fall to 3-7.
The game went back and forth through the early going with five lead changes and two ties, including at 10-all with 13:50 to go in the first half. Georgia State then went on a 17-2 run, capped by a three-pointer by Trae Goldston to make it 27-12 with 9:06 to go in the first half. CCU trimmed it back with a 12-6 run over the next five-and-a-half minutes to make it 33-24 with just over three minutes remaining in the first half, but the Panthers put together an 8-1 run to end the half and head into the halftime intermission with a 41-25 lead.
Georgia State pushed the lead to 17 at 44-27 with 19:14 remaining in the game, but Coastal started their surge back. The Chanticleers put together an 18-5 run over the next 6:10 to cut the GSU lead to just four at 49-45, sparked by a pair of threes by senior guard Jack Leasure and four free throws by senior forward Phil Wallace. After a Panther bucket ended the run and made it 51-45, Coastal rallied with a 10-0 run to take its first lead of the second half at 54-51, capped by a traditional three-point play by senior guard Everage Richardson. Georgia State retook the lead at 57-56 with 7:38 to play but that would be their final lead of the game. Junior guard Steven Sexton canned back-to-back three pointers to put the Chants up for good, as Coastal put the game away with a 16-5 run in the next six-and-a-half minutes to lead 72-62 with just over a minute to play. CCU hit seven of its eight free throw attempts down the stretch to seal the 11-point victory.
Coastal hit just 44.2 percent (23-of-52) of its shots from the field, including just 34.6 percent (9-of-26) behind the three-point arc. GSU connected on 47.4 percent (27-of-57) from the floor and 40.9 percent (9-of-22) from the three-point line. The Chants used their new "small ball" style to draw fouls and get to the free throw line, hitting on a season-best 24-of-31 (77.4 percent) from the charity stripe, while the visitors were just 5-of-11 (45.5 percent). Georgia State won the rebounding battle 38-31, but CCU overcame that by turning the ball over just a program-record three times.
The Chants were paced by Leasure with 18 points, all on six three-pointers, while also chipping in three rebounds and three assists. With his effort, Leasure moved into third on the Coastal all-time scoring list with 1,602 points, passing Tony Whittington (1979-83) with 1,599. Richardson continued his hot hand with 16 points, while Wallace added a career-best 15 points in the win. Redshirt sophomore Logan Johnson had a career-high eight rebounds to lead CCU, while junior guard Mario Sisinni dished out seven assists and grabbed five rebounds, both tying career bests. GSU was led by Goldston off the bench with a game-high 20 points, while Rashad Chase led with nine boards.
The Chanticleers will now be off until 2008 when they start back up on the road, heading to Greenville, N.C. to take on East Carolina, Wed, Jan. 2 at 7 p.m.