Conway, SC (SportsNetwork.com) - A couple of teams with identical overall
records are taking it down to the wire this afternoon, as the Winthrop Eagles
battle the Chanticleers of Coastal Carolina in the title game of the 29th
annual Big South Conference Tournament.
A fourth seed from the South Division, the Eagles made it to the championship
game yet again by first defeating Liberty in the first round of the event on
Wednesday by a score of 77-65, and then taking out High Point by a mere two
points two days later, 62-60. On Saturday afternoon, in the semifinals,
Winthrop slipped by UNC Asheville by an 80-79 final. Having a record of 39-18
in this event over the years and having won the title 10 times goes a long way
in preparing a program for close calls in clutch situations.
As for the Chanticleers, the top seed from the South Division, they earned a
bye through to the quarterfinals two days ago where they needed a pair of
overtime sessions to climb out with a 73-68 win against Charleston Southern.
Yesterday it was VMI that gave Coastal a tough time before the hosts claimed a
Unlike Winthrop which has dominated the league for so many years and last won
the title in 2010, Coastal Carolina has gone without the crown since 1993,
although it did play in the championship in both 2010 and 2011, losing to
Winthrop by a score of 64-53 in the former.
The Eagles won both meetings during the regular season, including a narrow
73-72 overtime outcome at this same facility back on Jan. 18. Despite being
swept, the Chants still cling to a narrow 39-38 edge in the all-time series.
The Eagles had four starters score in double figures on Saturday afternoon
versus UNC Asheville, led by Keon Moore with his 20 points as he converted 4-
of-5 shots behind the 3-point line. Joab Jerome and Keon Johnson contributed
another 16 points apiece and Larry Brown converted all four of his field goal
chances as he finished with 10 points and eight rebounds for a squad that shot
58.0 percent from the field and 6-of-11 behind the 3-point line, but just 16-
of-25 at the charity stripe.
Against one of the most aggressive offensive teams in the country, one that
was scoring more than 87 ppg, the Chanticleers clamped down defensively
against VMI and limited the visitors to just 17 total field goals and 8-of-31
shooting behind the 3-point line. The Keydets managed to produce a mere 62
points and still had a shot at the victory. However, the Chants put four
starters in double figures as Josh Cameron tallied 17 points, followed by
Warren Gillis with 12. Elijah Wilson and Badou Diagne both dropped in 11
points, the latter also clearing a team-best 11 rebounds in an effort to make
up for the lackluster performance of El Hadji Ndiequene who scored just six
points and pulled down six rebounds, but also turned the ball over six times
before fouling out.
The Sports Network