ASHEVILLE, N.C. - UNC Asheville placed five players in double figures as the Bulldogs rolled to a 100-85 Big South Conference victory over Coastal Carolina Saturday afternoon.
The win propelled the Bulldogs (15-13, 9-5 BSC) into a first-place tie with the Chanticleers (16-12, 9-5 BSC) in the South Division. The winner of tonight's Gardner-Webb-Winthrop contest will join Asheville and CCU in a first-place entering the final week of the regular season.
The foul-filled contest saw 60 fouls called in the contest. Asheville went 38-of-52 from the charity stripe, while the Chanticleers went 27-of-43. The 38 free throws is a new single-game record for Asheville, while the 52 free throws attempted tied a school record.
Jaron Lane led Asheville with 25 points as he was 13-of-14 from the free throw line. Andrew Rowsey contributed 17 points, six assists and a career-high nine rebounds. D.J. Cunningham added 14 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots. Corey Littlejohn chipped in 13 points, while Jaleel Roberts finished with 10 points, four blocked shots and six rebounds.
Coastal Carolina was led by Elijah Wilson with a career-high 28 points. He went 14-of-19 from the free throw line. Warren Gillis added 22 points before fouling out with seven minutes remaining.
Asheville trailed 35-33 late in the first half before the Bulldogs took the lead for good on a late run. Reserve guard Ethan Wilmoth put the home team in front for good at 36-35. The trey triggered a 12-3 to end the half and pushed Asheville in front at intermission, 45-38. Reserve forward Giacomo Zili scored on a three-point play as the first half ended giving the Bulldogs a seven-point lead.
Rowsey helped the home team make another run early in the second half. He scored the Bulldogs next 10 points over the next two minutes as his three free throws increased Asheville’s lead to 64-50 with 13:54 left in the game.
The Bulldogs began getting into some foul trouble of their own as three starters went to the bench with four fouls. CCU rallied to close to 78-75 on two free throws from Wilson at the 7:16 mark.
But Asheville, playing with four starters on the bench, managed to stay in front of the Chanticleers.
Leading 86-81, Lane knocked down a three-pointer to pad the lead to 89-81. He then scored on a fast-break lay-up to push the margin to 91-81. Cunningham then scored on a dunk to give the Bulldogs a 12-point lead and seal the victory.
The Bulldogs went 28-of-35 from the line in the second half, while CCU was 13-of-23. Wilson had 19 points in the second half for the Chants.
UNC Asheville will play its final regular-season road game of the year Wednesday night when the Bulldogs travels to Big South foe Winthrop at 7 p.m. Coastal Carolina hosts Presbyterian College Wednesday evening, also at 7 p.m.
UNC Asheville won its 15th game of the year and has won 15 games for seven straight seasons…the Bulldogs are 23-4 at Kimmel Arena against BSC foes…Andrew Rowsey has scored in double figures in 24 straight games…Asheville has led at intermission of all 12 home games this season…Jaron Lane has 1,197 career points and moved into 18th place on Asheville’s career scoring list.