Chanticleers edge Campbell. 61-58
Warren Gillis scored 18 points and Coastal Carolina defeated Campbell 61-58 in a contest of the Big South's two division leaders Saturday at Gore Arena.
In front of a greater-than-capacity, arena-record crowd of 3,220, the Chanticleers (13-9, 6-2) scored 20 second-chance points and withstood a late Fighting Camel rally.
Coastal Carolina 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 four assists for Coastal Carolina. The Chanticleers shot 36.4 percent from the field but grabbed 19 offensive rebounds and made only seven turnovers. Cameron and Elijah Wilson added 13 each, while Badou Diange scored eight points and pulled down seven 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, eight rebounds and three blocks. McCarter scored nine points, eight below his average in conference play, while dishing four 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.”
The game was televised nationally on ESPNU.
For the seventh time in eight league games, the Camels played a game which went down to the wire.
Coastal Carolina won its fourth straight game and improved to 4-1 on the road in conference action.
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. Coastal Carolina 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 left cut the gap to 51-49 before Coastal extended the margin to seven.
The Camels made 6 of 15 three-pointers in the first half and finished 11 for 30 from distance. CU committed 14 turnovers, its highest total in league play this season.
“Anytime you play a good team, you can’t leave anything on the table,” said McGeehan.
Campbell begins a two-game road stretch at 7 p.m. Wednesday at UNC Asheville.