February 2, 2014

Coastal edges Camels 61-58 in front of record crowd and ESPNU

BOXSCORE (pdf)

BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Warren Gillis scored 18 points and Coastal Carolina defeated Campbell 61-58 Saturday at Gore Arena.

In front of a greater-than-capacity, arena-record crowd of 3220 and a national TV audience on ESPNU, the Chanticleers (13-9, 6-2) won a battle of Big South Conference division leaders by scoring 20 second-chance points and withstanding a late Camel rally.

Coastal led 59-52 after Gillis hit two free throws with 1:58 to play, but three-pointers from Luke Moyer and Leek Leek in the final minute cut the gap to 59-58 with 20.1 seconds left.

Josh Cameron made two foul shots with 16.1 seconds remaining and the Camels had a chance to tie, but Reco McCarter's three in the final seconds hit iron and bounced away.

Gillis hit 6-of-15 shots from the floor, 4-of-4 from the line and dealt 4 assists for Coastal, which finished 36.4 percent from the field, but grabbed 19 offensive rebounds and made only 7 turnovers.  Cameron and Elijah Wilson added 13 each, while Badou Diange scored 8 points and pulled down 7 rebounds, all on the offensive end.

Darius Leonard led Campbell (11-12, 5-3) with 16 points, 15 in the first half on a career-high five 3-pointers.  Andrew Ryan added 10 points and 8 rebounds, plus 3 blocks.  McCarter scored 9 points, 8 below his average in conference play, while dishing 4 assists for CU, which shot 37.5 percent for the game.

"It was a great atmosphere today," said Campbell head coach Kevin McGeehan.  "Certainly there was an energy in the building that made a huge difference.  Anytime you can appear on the national stage, showcase our beautiful arena and all the people who care about us cheering for us it's amazing."

For the seventh time in eight league games, Campbell's contest went down the wire.  Two of CU's 3 losses in Big South play have come by 3 or fewer points.  CU was the last remaining Big South team to lose at home in conference play (4-1) this year.

Coastal won its fourth-straight game and sixth in the last seven outings and improved to 4-1 on the road in conference action after finishing with a 42-35 edge on the glass.

After trailing 35-32 at the half, Campbell took its first lead (43-41) since early on when Ryan knocked down a triple with 16:36 remaining.  However, Coastal answered with a 10-2 run and led 51-45 when Gillis drove to the bucket with 10:44 to play.

The Camels went 10:44 between made field goals and missed two front ends of one-and-one chances, but Moyer's lay-up in traffic with 5:50 cut the cap to 51-49 before Coastal extended the margin to 7.

Leonard hit 5-straight three-pointers and the Camels made 6-of-15 from beyond the arc (.400) in the opening half.  On the day, Campbell knocked down 11-of-30 from distance, but committed 14 turnovers, its highest total in league play this year.

"Anytime you play a good team, you can't leave anything on the table," said McGeehan.

Campbell begins a 2-game road stretch Wednesday at UNC Asheville (7:00 p.m.).