Coastal Carolina Drops Close Game to Arkansas State

Coastal Carolina Drops Close Game to Arkansas State
Tommy Burton had 16 points and 13 rebounds but it wasn't enough as Coastal Carolina fell at home to Arkansas State (Source: Coastal Carolina Athletics)

Conway, S.C. – Junior guard Keishawn Brewton scored a career high 32 points for Coastal Carolina but Arkansas State rallied from 12 points down in the second half to take an 80-75 win from the Chanticleers in a Sun Belt conference game Saturday afternoon at the HTC Center.

It was only the second time this season that Coastal has dropped back-to-back games, leaving the Chanticleers at 11-9 overall and 4-5 in the league. Arkansas State earned its eighth notable come-from-behind win of the season and improved to 13-7 and 5-4.

Brewton got scoring help from senior forward Tommy Burton, who had a fine all-around game with 16 points and a career high 13 rebounds. It was his fifth double-double of the season. Sophomore guard DeVante' Jones was held to eight points. Arkansas State was led by Junior guard Marquis Eaton, who had 20 points to lead four Redwolves players in doubles figures.

Coastal led 63-55 with 7:30 minutes left in the game before the Redwolves climbed back to take the lead at 68-67 on the three-pointer from junior guard Christian Willis and they held the advantage the rest of the way. The Redwolves sealed the win by hitting 10-10 from the free throw line in the final 1:38.

"We led most of the way, but we couldn't hang on and do the things we needed to do," said a disappointed Coastal head coach Cliff Ellis. "Tommy and Keishawn were our only bright spots. DJ (Jones) has struggled the last two games. But we've got to find a way to get through this, and we've got to cut our turnovers down." Coastal had 20 turnovers on the afternoon.

Brewton already had 18 points in the first half and Burton had 10 points and 12 rebounds to lead Coastal to a slim 40-38 halftime lead. The Chanticleers had trailed by eight before Brewton went to work in the last seven minutes of the half, making four free throws and a three three-pointers.

For the game, the flashy long-range shooter made a personal high eight three-pointers, converting on 10-19 shots from the field. As a team, Coastal made 25-59 shots (42%) and Arkansas State finished about the same, at 21-52 (40%). The difference was at the free throw line, where the visitors got 39 chances as compared to 21 for Coastal. Arkansas State made 28-39 from the charity stripe. Coastal converted just 15 of 21.

The rebounding totals were even at 37 apiece. Burton had help on the glass from Jones, who had seven rebounds, and junior Garrick Green and freshman Tim Ceaser, who had five each.

Coastal will get a week off before hosting Appalachian State at 2 p.m. next Saturday. After that, the Chants will travel to Arkansas for games against Little Rock and Arkansas State on Jan. 30 and Feb. 1, respectively.