Coastal Carolina's 22 game win streak came to an end on Tuesday night at Kimbel Arena at the hands of Gardner-Webb. Jon Moore had 15 points, including three 3 pointers to help the Runnin' Bulldogs pull off a 59-57 upset. The game was tied 14 times and featured 12 lead changes.
The Chanticleers were held without a field goal for the final 6:43 of the game. CCU would make nine of ten free throws down the stretch, but Gardner-Webb took a 57-52 lead on a Stefon Johnson layup with 3:13 to go. After Moore made two free throws with :12 to go, the Chanticleers were down 59-56. After Anthony Raffa went 1 of 2 from the line, a missed free throw by Johnson gave CCU the ball with :05 to go. Desmond Holloway streaked down the sideline and took a game winning three that was off the mark.
CCU point guard Kierre Greenwood suffered a knee injury on the final play of the first half. He did not return to the game. An MRI is scheduled for Wednesday. Coastal clinched the #1 seed in the Big South Tournament and at least a share of the regular season title thanks to Liberty's loss to VMI.
WPDE Sports Director Rich Chrampanis was at the game and offers his post-game analysis
BLESSING IN DISGUISE?
The streak was going to end at some point. Better now than in early March. All that matters is March. If CCU ran the table and got to 30-2 and reached the Big South title game and lost, they were heading to the NIT. Now, the Chanticleers fall competely off the national radar and can just worry about those three games at Kimbel in early March. There are three games left before the tourney starts and the loss to Gardner-Webb is a reality check. One bad day can ruin a great season. The season isn't ruined yet. Coastal just can't afford to have another bad day three weeks from now.
Kierre Greenwood drove along the baseline at the end of the first half and fell down behind the basket. Greenwood had to be carried off the court and did not return to the game. He was wearing an ice pack on his left knee. An MRI is scheduled for Wednesday. Losing Greenwood would be a huge blow to an already thin depth chart. I'd say there is almost no chance for Greenwood to play Thursday in a non-conference game against NC Central. After that, it's all speculation. We'll find out a lot more on Wednesday.
VMI beat Liberty on Tuesday night giving CCU the #1 seed and home court for the Big South Tournament. No one was celebrating that note following the game.
Lost in the disappointment of the loss, Brandon Crawford turned in one of his best efforts in a CCU uniform with 12 points and five rebounds. There's no question you are going to see a lot more of Crawford and Dexter Moore over these final two weeks.
BEWARE of the WEBB
CCU was very fortunate to get past Gardner-Webb on January 22nd in Boiling Springs, NC. That 58-55 win was a classic "steal one on the road". Now GW comes to Kimbel and knocks off the king of the Big South. With PC ineligible for the conference tournament, the first round Big South matchup right now would be Gardner-Webb at Coastal Carolina. The Runnin' Bulldogs are 9-18, and 4-11 in the conference and are almost a lock to be the #8 seed. Yet they have the Chanticleers number. Round three is likely coming and CCU better be ready and figure out a way to dispose of this team.