CONWAY, SC – At 0-2 Coastal Carolina’s coach Buzz Peterson was looking for a break so he could get his team in the win column.
He got it at with 40 seconds left in the game when Wright State’s leading scorer DeShaun Wood fouled out. With Wood gone it still took two overtimes, but Coastal Carolina pulled out a 70-63 win over visiting Wright State.
With a minute left in regulation time the raiders led 51-49 and then Coastal Carolina’s Moses Sonko got a feed from Jack Leasure and put a lay-up in to tie the game at 51-51. Neither team was able to score another basket in the last 54 seconds of the second half, so the teams went to overtime.
In the first overtime, Tyrone Scott hit two jumpers for the Raiders and for the Chanticleers both Sonko and Joseph Harris hit shots to knot the score at 55-55 and send the game into a second overtime.
In the second overtime Coastal Carolina’s Matt Brennan slammed home a dunk 54 seconds into the period and the Chanticleers never lost the lead and never looked back.
With 3:26 left Leasure was fouled by Reinaldo Smith. He made both of them to put Coastal Carolina up by four at 59-55.
Jordan Pleiman made two foul shots after being fouled by Brennnan to close within two points at 59-57 and that is as close as the Raiders would get in the second overtime as Coastal Carolina made 11 points in the remaining minutes to the Raiders three points to seal the victory.
In the overtime periods Peterson had his team concentrate on making sure they got the ball to Leasure and Sonko.
“We were looking for two guys, Sonko and Leasure. We wanted to make sure they got a touch on the ball and see if they could make a shot. I was disappointed we didn’t get better looks in the first overtime,” explained Peterson.
Some of the stats were just plain ugly. Coastal Carolina shot just paltry 37.1 percent in the game, while the Raiders managed a low 43.1 percent. Wright State committed 22 turnovers and for the Chanticleers it was 20 turnovers.
From the foul line Wright State shot just 42.1 percent and Coastal Carolina shot 69.2 percent.
Peterson knew when he scheduled these early games there would be some sloppy basketball, but he was just happy to get the win.
“I said all along that when you schedule these early games you are going to get some ugly games, both teams had over 20 turnovers. But I have been trying to tell our guys don’t worry about the offense, let’s be more concerned about the defense” said Peterson.
Wright State’s Woods thought the lack of timely shooting toward the end of the game sunk the Raiders.
“I think we did tremendously good on defense. But when you are not making shots it is kind of frustrating and sooner or later the other team is going to come up with something,” explained Wood.
With 52 seconds left in regulation time these was a clock issue, which potentially took a win away from Wright State. Coastal Carolina’s Mario Sisinni shot an air ball as time was running down on the shot clock. The guy running the clock, thought it hit the rim and reset the clock. Sonko jumped up and caught the ball under the basket. He landed, faked and put it back in for two points.
The officials called time out and initially they took the two points off the scoreboard. Then after conferring with each other, they put the two points back on the scoreboard, explaining to the coaches that they thought there were two seconds left and that was enough time for Sonko to make his lay-up.
Wright State’s coach Brad Brownell did not think the clock controversy lost it for the Raiders.
“There are plenty of other things involved in games that win or lose games. That might have been an unfortunate break. To blame a game on something like that is not fare to the kids that played very hard and played very well,” said a tired Brownell.
In the first half Coastal Carolina jumped out to an early lead when Sonko hit a 3-pointer 30 seconds into the game and they held the lead for most of the fist half..
Wright State finally grabbed the lead when Drew Burleson made a lay up at the 7:15 mark. He was fouled, but missed the foul shot.
At the end of the first half Coastal Carolina’s Moses Sonko was fouled by Todd Brown and made both foul shots to tie the score at 28-28.
Coastal Carolina’s Leasure led all scorers with 22 points, Sonko put in 20 points and Harris scored 12 points.
The Raiders were led in scoring by Vaughn Duggins with 12 points. Both Wood and Pleiman pitched in 11 points.
-- Coastal Carolina now leads the series 2-0. They defeated Wright State 83-69 back on December of 1990 in the North Coast Tournament in Cleveland, Ohio.
-- Wright State is staying in South Carolina until Tuesday and will be practicing at Coastal Carolina. From there they fly to Chicago where they will play Chicago State on Wednesday. They will be practicing at Loyola on Tuesday.
-- There were about 100 fans from UNCW at the game to cheer on Brad Brownell and the Raiders. Some were even wearing WSU gear.
-- Coastal Carolina plays Asbury College at home on Wednesday at 7 PM. Wright State plays Chicago State on Wednesday at 7 PM.