CONWAY, S.C. – Josh Cameron scored a career-high 29 points as Coastal Carolina held off a dramatic UNC Asheville comeback as the Chanticleers edged the Bulldogs, 81-78 at the HTC Center Wednesday night.
The Bulldogs (8-9, 2-1 BSC) trailed by 14 points with seven minutes left and by 12 with 3:19 left before staging a furious comeback that came up just short.
David Robertson tied a career-high with 18 points. Andrew Rowsey added 15 points, while Sam Hughes pumped in 13 points. Jaron Lane, who didn’t start due to a sore ankle, came off the bench to score 11 points. D.J. Cunningham enjoyed his second straight double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Cunningham moved into sixth place on the school’s all-time career list for rebounds. He now has 689 career rebounds.
Asheville led 40-36 at halftime before the Chanticleers (9-8, 2-1 BSC) roared out of the gates to start the second half. CCU outscored the Bulldogs 10-2 to start the half to take the lead for good at 46-42 at the 17-minute mark. Cameron, who scored 16 points in the first half, had seven of those points as the Chants seized control of the game.
CCU continued to build on the lead as Asheville was ice cold from the field in the second half. The lead ballooned to 14 at 69-66 on a lay-up from Michel Enanga with seven minutes left.
The Bulldogs trailed 73-61 with 3:19 remaining before making their final push. Asheville scored 17 points in the final three minutes to cut the lead to 77-75 on a Rowsey trey with 21 seconds left. Coastal Carolina went 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the final 20 seconds to hold on to the three-point win that wasn’t decided until the buzzer sounded.
CCU used hot shooting in this game to get the win. The Chanticleers went 31-of-62 (50%) from the field and were a season-high 10-of-17 (.588) from the three-point line. Cameron was an amazing 5-of-6 from downtown and 10-of-18 from the field.
The Bulldogs out-rebounded the Big South’s top rebounding team at 45-38. Asheville had 25 offensive rebounds to 14 for the home teams. CCU outscored the Dogs, 34-22 in the paint but Asheville had a 28-10 advantage in second-chance points.
Asheville stays on the road and plays at Big South Conference favorite Charleston Southern Saturday afternoon starting at 5:30 p.m.
The Bulldogs are 0-3 at the HTC Center…Asheville has lost its last three meetings to the Chanticleers in Conway by a total of nine points…the Bulldogs tied their season-high in steals with 11…Jaron Lane has 995 career points…Andrew Rowsey has scored in double figures in 16 of 17 games this year…Asheville used its seventh different starting line-up Wednesday night.