Courtesy: Coastal Carolina Media relations
Gardner-Webb's Tyrell Nelson scored on a tip-in with 2.4 seconds to play, giving the Runnin' Bulldogs two-point lead. On the final play of the game Warren Gillis launched a pass the length of the floor to a curling Elijah Wilson at the right wing. However, Wilson's 3-point attempt at the buzzer fell just short as Coastal Carolina suffered a 66-64 defeat on Saturday afternoon.
Costal (15-7, 6-4 Big South) trailed by as many as 12 in the second half before piecing together a 14-0 run to take a 45-43 lead with 12:27 to go. Wilson, who scored six point during the run, capped the scoring streak with a knifing layup and a free throw after a GWU foul. Coastal controlled the next seven-plus minutes of the game, extending its lead to 54-60 with 4:07 to play.
Nelson then scored the game's next six points, bringing the Runnin' Bulldogs (14-9, 6-4 Big South) back even at 60-60 with the visiting Chants. Coastal Marcus Freeman, who finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season, scored on a hook shot in the lane to push the Chants back in front with 1:52 to go.
Gardner-Webb's Jerome Hill followed with a pair of free throws and his seventh field goal of the game, putting the Runnin' Bulldogs up 64-62. Following a timeout, CCU's Wilson drove the lane and scored a contested layup to knot the game for the sixth and final time at 64-64 with 22 second showing on the game clock.
Coastal then pressured Gardner-Webb's Tyler Strange to take a long 3-pointer with four second remaining in the game. Strange's shot clanked high off the rim and was tipped in by Nelson for the winning basket.
Coastal was led offensively by Badou Diagne's 15-point, 11 rebound double-double. Along with Freeman and Diagne, both Wilson and Gillis reached double-figures with 12 and 10 points, respectively. In addition, the Chanticleers outrebounded Gardner-Webb 45-30.
GWU was paced by Hill's 20 points and 10 rebounds. Nelson finished with 17 points, including 12 in the second half. Adonis Burbage chipped in 10 for the Runnin' Bulldogs.
Coastal led the first 15 minutes of the contest, stretching its lead to as many as seven at 15-8 with 8:02 to play. However, the Chanticleers would miss their next nine shots as the Runnin' Bulldogs rolled off a 17-3 scoring run, making 7-of-8 shots with a pair of 3-pointers, to take a 25-18 lead with 3:19 to go in the period.
CCU's Ron Trapps, who had not played since early December, broke a near three minute scoring drought with a free throw at the 2:18 mark of the first half. Gardner-Webb got four points at the line with a pair of free throw by Harold McBride and Nelson, while the Chants counted buckets by Gillis and a tip-in by Diagne as the first half clock expired to send the teams into the intermission with the Runnin' Bulldogs holding a 29-23 lead.
Coastal Carolina returns home to The HTC Center to face UNC Asheville on Tues., Feb. 3. Tipoff between the Bulldogs and Chanticleers is scheduled for 7 p.m.