CONWAY, S.C. – Coastal Carolina held Charleston Southern to 23 first-half points, its lowest total in a half in two in a half months, en route to a 73-53 win on Wednesday night at the HTC Center.
The Bucs shot just 31 percent –18.8 from three-point range—and were out rebounded 47-27 in their second-straight Big South loss.
CSU (12-8, 7-2) never found its scoring touch in the building in which the Big South Conference Tournament will be held next month, and when it missed shots, the Chanticleers simply limited any second-chance opportunities for the league's second best rebounding team .
An 11-0 first half run by CCU blew the game open as the Bucs went the final 6:06 without a point, holding the Bucs to their lowest point total in a half since a Thanksgiving weekend loss at Alabama.
Bucs' head coach Barclay Radebaugh didn't rush to a judgment regarding his team's performance.
"I don't know if it was execution, concentration, boxing out, or just a bad night," Radebaugh told the media after the game. "There is not a team in college basketball that does not have one of these. I want to wait and see the film before I decide."
Coast Carolina stifled the Bucs with its defense, something few teams have been able to do this season against the nation's No. 2 three-point shooting team.
"Congrats to Coastal," Radebaugh said. "Arizona and Wichita State couldn't do that to us, but Coastal did tonight. They're long and well-coached and they know how to win games. We have to put this one behind us and get ready for Campbell on Saturday. That's a huge game for us."
Warren Gills' hot shooting in the first half got Coastal rolling. He finished with 19 points and was 7-of-11 from the floor, knocking down a few big jumpers that extended the lead late in the first half. Anthony Raffa added 17 and silenced a Bucs' run to open the second half as CSU cut the CCU lead to 11 and was trying to build momentum out of the locker room.
Arlon Harper led CSU with 21 points and was 8-of14 from the floor, but no one for the Bucs had it going from three-point range.
CSU was 6-of-32 and 2-of-17 in the second half from three-point range. Mathiang Muo added 10 points on a 2-of-8 night.
CCU had two players with double figures in rebounds, while no one for the Bucs had more than five.
Coastal took advantage of the cold-shooting Bucs in the first half and controlled the boards to build a halftime lead.
CSU made just 4-of-15 three-point attempts in the opening half and the Chanticleers out rebounded the Bucs, 24-13.
The Bucs seem to settle in after a slow start, falling behind 13-6, but reeled off a 7-0 run to tie the game on an Arlon Harper three.
CCU answered as Warren Gillis knocked down a pair of perimeter jumpers to fuel an 11-0 run as CSU built its lead to 24-13. The Bucs would again cut the lead, this time to six, at 29-23 on a three-point by Saah Nimley, his only bucket of the first half.
The Bucs would be held scoreless over the final 6:07 of the half as Harper had 15 points and six of CSU's nine field goals. CCU ended the half on an 8-0.
CSU opened the second half 0-of-10 from three-point range as CCU pulled away. The Bucs cut the lead to 13 in the final three minutes, but could never get it to single digits.
The Bucs return to action on Saturday against Campbell at the Buc Dome. Tipoff is at 5:30 p.m.