BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. - Jerome Hill grabbed an offensive rebound and laid it in with 1 second left to propel Gardner-Webb to a 66-65 victory over Coastal Carolina in a Big South Conference game on Wednesday night.
Hill's tip-in with 15 seconds left had given Gardner-Webb a 63-64 advantage, but Coastal Carolina's Warren Gillis's layup made it 65-64 with 8 seconds left.
Donta Harper had 18 points and eight rebounds to lead Gardner-Webb (10-8, 2-2), Tashan Newsome scored 17 points, and Hill had 15 points and six rebounds off the bench.
Anthony Raffa led Coastal Carolina (7-8, 2-2) with 25 points, and El Hadji Ndieguene pulled down 11 rebounds.
The Running' Bulldogs led 62-51 with 3:28 left on Harper's basket, but Raffa had a three-point play, a jumper and a 3-pointer to close to 62-61 with 1:38 remaining.
Gillis made a jumper with 53 seconds remaining to put the Chanticleers up 63-62.
WPDE Sports Director Rich Chrampanis was at the game and offers his take on the buzzer beater
I tweeted that this is what makes you fall in love with college basketball. The final minute was four high drama exciting possessions. When Kierre Greenwood did not dress due to the flu, all arrows pointed to Gardner-Webb running away with this one. The Chanticleers were down double digits at least a half dozen times in this game and kept figuring out a way to stick around.
The intensity shown in the 12-0 run to take the lead was encouraging for CCU fans. The defense was fantastic and Anthony Raffa hit a number of big shots to set up Warren Gillis in the final minute. With Greenwood out, the rotation got a little deeper and Justin Daniel and Michel Enanga stepped up with solid play and good minutes. Uros Ljeskovic had seven rebounds in 19 minutes, but was 0 for 6 from the free throw line including missing two front ends of a one and one. The freshman from Macedonia has the big body to be very effective in the Big South and needs seasoning and time in the weight room and the free throw line to up his game.
I think Greenwood may be the most underrated player in Coastal history. Forget about the stats, he has such a high basketball IQ and does so many things that don't show in the box score. It will be interesting to see if the heartbreak carries over to Saturday morning or if Raffa can get the youngsters to move on and build off of a great comeback that fell short.