Anthony Raffa scored 10 straight points to perserve a 74-69 win over UNC-Asheville on Tuesday night at Kimbel Arena. Raffa had 20 points and Chris Gradnigo chipped in 15 points and 13 rebounds as CCU breaks a three game losing streak. The Chanticleers roared out to a 15-4 lead to start the game and led 35-20 at the half. UNC-Asheville opened the second half with an 8-0 run to get back into the contest. Jaron Lane hit a 3 pointer to get the Bulldogs within three at 42-39 before the Chants got a huge spark by Bisi Addey off the bench. Addey had a hoop and foul followed by a steal and a dunk as part of his nine point night. The closest the Bulldogs got was 56-55 at the six minute mark, but Coastal was able to get clutch buckets by Kierre Greenwood followed by Raffa's outburst at the end of the game.
With Coastal hanging on to a three point lead in the final minute, Raffa heaved a desperation three as the shot clock expired that found the bottom of the net. Raffa had four free throws from there to ice it. Matt Dickey led UNCA with 19 points. Jon Pack added 14 and Kierre Greenwood had 12 for Coastal who stands at 18-8, 11-5 in Big South play.
Cliff Ellis said it's the first time in his 40 years of coaching that he had to play five conference games in the span of ten days. The Chanticleers went 2-3 in that span. There are three regular season games remaining before the Big South Tournament in Asheville, NC.
Coastal is off until Saturday when the Chants face Tennessee Tech in an ESPN BracketBusters game. It will be the final men's basketball game in Kimbel Arena history. Tip off is at 12 noon.