Harper's 22 Not Enough for CSU vs. CoastalFebruary 4, 2012
by CSU Sports Information
CONWAY, S.C. – Freshman guard Arlon Harper tallied a team-high 22 points but Charleston Southern struggled offensively for the second consecutive contest in a 71-58 loss to Coastal Carolina at Kimbel Arena on Saturday afternoon.
Despite committing only six turnovers, the Bucs were limited to 30 percent shooting two nights after recording a 31 percent clip in a loss to Campbell.
“It was a tough day and a tough
week but I continue to be impressed with how hard this basketball team plays on
a daily basis,” said CSU coach Barclay Radebaugh. “We could not catch a break
today and it would have been very easy for our team to get frustrated and just
quit playing. This team will not be that type of team. We played with as much
effort in the last two games as we have in any game this season and that’s
encouraging to see. If we continue to play with this type of effort the rest of
the way, we will be fine.”
CSU’s (14-9, 8-5) work on the boards kept them around in the first half as they were within 32-28 at intermission thanks in part to grabbing 12 offensive rebounds.
Coastal (17-5, 10-2) was paced by 24 points from senior wing Chris Gradnigo. Kierre Greenwood and Anthony Raffa did the job in the backcourt, posting 19 and 15 points, respectively.
As was the case during the first meeting in Charleston four weeks ago, both teams stayed neck-and-neck in a back-and-forth opening stanza which featured three ties and six lead changes.
Mathiang Muo provided a first half highlight by sinking back-to-back three-pointers to give CSU a 15-11 lead and induce a Coastal timeout at the 13:01 mark. Two Kelvin Martin free throws re-instated a four-point advantage at 21-17 with 5:37 remaining, coming courtesy of one of the senior’s four offensive caroms.
Coastal began to assume control from there, though, as Raffa book-ended a 9-0 run with a trey and an old-fashioned three-point play in the lane. The Chanticleers led 26-21 by the time the spurt concluded and never allowed the Bucs to creep closer than three the rest of the way.
CSU was held scoreless for the opening 2:27 of the second half as Coastal ripped off seven straight markers to forge a 39-28 cushion on a Greenwood three-point play. Jeremy Sexton’s steal and weaving layup on the other end sliced the deficit to five two minutes later but that was as close as the Bucs would come.
One of Harper’s four triples drew CSU back within eight at the 7:50 mark before Gradnigo propelled an 11-1 CCU run to give Coastal its largest lead of the day.
Martin added 13 points and seven rebounds for the Bucs to join Harper in double figures. Paul Gombwer made the first start of his career and tallied four points to go along with eight rebounds. The freshman was active yet again on the offensive glass, snatching five of the variety against the 6-8 Sam McLaurin and 6-11 Jon Pack.
CSU returns to the Buc Dome for a four-game homestand, beginning Thursday at 7:30 p.m. against Liberty.
“We have three straight
conference games at home and we’re in good position to reach our goals so we’re
looking forward, not backwards,” said Radebaugh.
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