Feb. 24, 2012
Coastal Carolina (13-11, 6-9 Big South) vs. Charleston Southern (15-11, 8-7 Big South)
Saturday, February 25, 2012 | 2 p.m. | Conway, S.C. | Kimbel Arena (1,039)
Final Regular Season Game in Kimbel Arena
CONWAY - Coastal Carolina returns to the hardwood of Kimbel Arena on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 2 p.m. as hosts to longtime rival Charleston Southern. The game will mark the final time a Chanticleer team will play a regular season game in Kimbel Arena as the men's and women's basketball teams along with volleyball program move into the new Student Recreation and Convocation Center this summer.
Broadcast: The Coastal Carolina - Charleston Southern game will be broadcast live online at GoCCUSports.com with Ryan Borawski on the call.
Live Stats: Available via GoCCUSports.com
Video Stream: Available via BigSouthSports.com
Series: Coastal Leads 45-33
Streak: Lost 1
Last 10: 5-5
Last Meeting: Coastal Carolina and Charleston Southern last met on Jan. 28 in Charleston with the Buccaneers prevailing with a 69-66 win on a Rachelle Coward buzzer-beating 3-pointer. Shatia Cole and Olivia Irick finished with 22 and 20 points, respectively.
The Opening Tip
The Chants and the Buccaneers
Saturday's game marks the 79th all-time meeting between the Big South's southernmost members. Coastal leads the series 45-33 and has won nine of the last 14 meetings. Under Coach LeForce, the Chants are 20-13 against their Lowcountry rival.
A Look At Buccaneers
Charleston Southern enters the game as one of the most prolific scoring teams in the country. The Bucs currently rank No. 5 in the nation with 9.4 triples per game and are No. 24 in the NCAA averaging 73.1 points per game.
Charleston Southern has put up 679 3-point attempts this season and has made 241 for a Big South-leading 35.5 percentage.
The Bucanneers are led by Rachelle Coward's 18.2 points per game on her 40.5 percent from the floor and 37.5 percent from deep. Lakeitha Alston and Helen Terry are also averaging double-digits in the scoring column with 16.1 and 11.2 points per game, respectively.
• Coastal Carolina plays its final home game of the season and in the history of Kimbel Arena on Saturday against longtime rival Charleston Southern. The Chants have called Kimbel Arena home since the program's inception in 1974.
• Prior to the game, seniors Olivia Irick, Kira Carter, Courtney Grambley and Taylor Epley will be honored for their accomplishments and contributions to the Coastal Carolina women's basketball program.
• Olivia Irick has been a scoring machine as of late as she has combined for 121 total points over Coastal's last eight games, upping her season scoring average from 9.6 to a team leading 11.6.
• Coastal has not lost back-to-back games to Charleston Southern since doing so by a combined three points during the 2008-09 season.
• Coastal holds a +71 scoring differential (863 points for vs. 792 points against) when Big South Freshman of the Year candidate Shatia Cole is on the floor.
Buzzer Beating Chants
Sophomore guard Angelica Henry led Coastal to a thrilling 59-58 win over High Point on Monday as she nailed a buzzer-beating shot that left her hands with four-tenths of a second remaining in regulation. The buzzer beater was the second for Coastal at home this season as Olivia Irick also came away the hero after her game-ending shot to defeat Radford on Jan. 16. However, Coastal has also been on the wrong side of a buzzer beater this season as Charleston Southern's Rachelle Coward drained a running 35-foot three as time expired to push the Buccaneers past the Chanticleers 69-66 on Jan. 28.
Saturday's game marks the final time Coastal Carolina basketball will call Kimbel Arena home as both the men's and women's programs move into the new Student Recreation and Convocation Center this summer. The 1,039-seat Kimbel Arena has been the home of the Chanticleers since it opened in 1972. The Student Recreation and Convocation Center will seat more than 3,200 fans for basketball and volleyball, and more than 3,300 for graduation and other special events. The building will also house offices and locker rooms for the men's and women's basketball and volleyball programs, as well as the Campus Recreation program.
Two Averaging 10-plus
After scoring a combined 121 points through the past eight games, Olivia Irick is averaging 11.6 points per game. Irick joins Shatia Cole (11.0) in averaging 10-plus points per outing for the Chanticleers this season. Irick is the Big South's 16th-leading scorer and Cole ranks 19th.
Saturday is senior day for Chanticleer seniors Kira Carter, Courtney Grambley, Taylor Epley and Olivia Irick.
• Kira Carter, an Indianapolis, Ind., native, transferred from Wabash Valley College by way of Oakland University prior to her junior season and made an immediate impact for the Chanticleers. During her junior campaign she started 23 games at point guard where she averaged 6.2 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. Carter established a career-high of 21 points in Coastal's dominating win at USC Upstate on Dec. 30, 2010, to hand the Spartans their first home loss of the season.
This season she has started 20 games and is averaging 4.7 points and 1.7 assists per game. Carter recently set her season-high points total with 10 as the Chants went toe-to-toe with Big South power Liberty. Despite seeing the majority of her playing time at guard, she has three blocks and 66 rebounds on the season.
• Courtney Grambley, from Morrow, Ohio, has appeared in 107 games wearing the teal of Coastal Carolina. Known for her hustle and defensive tenacity this senior has recorded 78 steals to go along with her 298 rebounds to date. She set her career-high with a 14-point performance at Winthrop on Jan. 17, 2009.
This season Grambley has appeared in every game earning six starts. She is averaging 3.5 points per game while shooting a team-high 43.4 percent from the floor. Against UNC Asheville in January, she poured in 10 points on 3-of-6 from the field to total her season-high. The forward has pulled down a career-high seven boards three times, most recently at Radford, to help the Chants to a plus-12 rebounding margin.
• Taylor Epley, from Newburgh, Ind., saved her best season for last and is playing the best basketball of her career this season. She has seamlessly stepped into the role as the Chanticleers' starting center this season and has made her presence known down low. To date, Epley has totaled 234 points and 224 rebounds to go along with her 70 steals and 30 assists.
This season Epley is averaging career-highs with 4.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and a 35.4 shooting percentage from the floor. Her 1.2 blocks per game ranks third in the Big South this season. The senior has nearly equaled her career total with 92 rebounds this season as she ranks third on the team with 3.8 boards per outing. The center scored a career-high and game-high 15 points in Coastal's dominating victory over UNC Asheville on Feb. 6.
• Olivia Irick, known around the league for her high-arcing rainbow threes, will go down as one of the all-time great 3-point shooters in Coastal Carolina women's basketball history. A native of Columbia, S.C., she currently ranks ninth in the Chanticleer record book with 110 career triples and is within easy striking distance of sixth place all-time. She has been a constant on the floor for the Chanticleers throughout her career seeing action in 98 games with 31 starts. Last season she tallied double-digit scoring efforts in 16 games, including seven straight from Dec. 4 through Jan. 11. Irick scored a career-high 21 points in a victory over Radford on Jan. 29, 2011.
This season she is the Chanticleers' leading scorer and second-leading rebounder averaging 11.3 points and 4.4 rebounds per outing. Irick has led Coastal in scoring nine times this season, including the last four-straight games that included her season-high-tying 20-point effort in the Chants' 59-58 thrilling win over High Point on Monday. The senior displayed late game heroics as she nailed the buzzer-beating shot against Radford in January to lift Coastal to a 58-56 victory. Additionally, she has added to her career 3-point total this season with a career-high 37 makes, including four makes each on three separate occasions. To date, the guard ranks in the top 15 of the Big South in scoring, assists, 3-point field goal percentage and 3-point field goals made.
The Kimbel Advantage
The Chants have made the most of the home court advantage Kimbel Arena can provide this season to the tune of a 12-2 record, which includes two buzzer-beating wins. Coastal is outscoring its opponents by 11.0 points per game at home while also posting a +4.9 turnover margin.
Coastal Carolina takes to the road for its final two games of the regular season starting at Presbyterian College on Friday, March 2. Tipoff from the Blue Hose's Ross E. Templeton Center is slated for 7 p.m.