Chants face big challenge from first-place Buccaneers

The Coastal Carolina men’s basketball team puts its seven-game home win streak on the line against Big South Conference leader Charleston Southern University on Wednesday night. The Buccaneers and Chants will tip-off at 7 p.m. inside The HTC Center.

Coastal Carolina (10-10, 5-4 BSC) needs a win over the first-place Charleston Southern (12-7, 7-1 BSC) to make a run at the division title in the second half of the Big South Conference season. The Chants will face a hot and battle-tested team in the Buccaneers.

The Bucs are under the direction of eighth-year head coach Barclay Radebaugh. Charleston Southern played a tough non-conference slate including trips to nationally-ranked opponents Arizona and Wichita State. The Bucs also faced Charlotte, East Tennessee State, Alabama, The Citadel and College of Charleston.

Heading into the holiday break the Bucs were just 4-6 but since Dec. 29 CSU has gone 8-1 with a one-point overtime loss to Gardner-Webb. Charleston Southern sits atop the Big South Conference South Division standings with a 7-1 in-conference record.

The Bucs are led by a pair of first team preseason all-conference selections, Saah Nimley and Arlon Harper. Nimley is averaging 16.1 points and 5.5 assists per game while Harper is scoring 14.6 points per contest and shooting 46.6 percent from the field.

The Chants have won seven-straight home games by an average margin of 20.7 points per game and have held opponents to just 50.3 points per contest. Coastal’s last loss at home came on Dec. 6, 2012, against Boston University.

Coastal Carolina is led by senior guard Anthony Raffa’s 20 points per game and senior guard Kierre Greenwood, who became the 22nd player in Big South history with 400 career helpers on Dec. 13 as he dished out eight assists against Toccoa Falls to give himself 403 for his career.

Coastal Carolina holds the series lead 32-29 and has won the last six meetings. The Bucs last win over the Chants came on Feb. 26 2009, in Charleston. CSU swept the season series in 2008-09 winning in Conway 71-69 that season as well. CCU’s last win over Charleston Southern came Feb. 4, 2012, in Conway, 71-58. Three of the last four meetings between the two teams have been decided by four points or less including CCU’s 80-77 overtime victory in Charleston last season.

Photo by Joel Beachum

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