Chants hold off Bulldogs to earn No. 3 seed in tourney

ccuhoops-10dribbleShivaughn Wiggins scored 24 points and Coastal Carolina edged UNC Asheville 81-79 on Saturday in the regular season finale for both teams.

Jaylen Shaw added 14 points for the Chanticleers (18-10, 12-6 Big South Conference) who will continue as the third seed in the upcoming conference tournament.

Shaw sank a 3-pointer with 5:06 to go in the first half, sparking a 15-6 run that put Coastal Carolina up 43-29 at the break.

The Chanticleers led throughout the second half and an Elijah Wilson jumper made it 66-57 with 5:43 to play. UNC Asheville threatened late, cutting Coastal Carolina’s lead to one, 80-79, on a pair of Dylan Smith free throws with eight seconds to go but the Chanticleers held on for the win.

Freshman Dwayne Sutton scored a career-high 24 points for the Bulldogs (19-11, 12-6) who will enter the Big South tournament as a fourth seed. * The seedings and pairings for next week’s Big South Conference Men’s Basketball Championship have been determined following the conclusion of the conference’s regular-season schedule Saturday evening.

High Point and Winthrop tied for the regular-season championship, and the Panthers are the No. 1 seed with the Eagles receiving the No. 2 seed.  As the teams split the season series, the next tie break was record against teams next in the standings.  With Coastal Carolina and UNC Asheville tied for third-place at 12-6, the procedure is to compare the records against the collective teams tied in that next position.  High Point finished with a 2-1 combined mark against CCU/Asheville, while Winthrop was 2-2, giving the Panthers the top seed.

High Point has now captured four consecutive Big South regular-season titles, becoming just the third program in league history to accomplish this feat.  Winthrop clinched its first regular-season crown since sharing the title in 2007-08.  It is the conference’s third time with co-champions in the past four seasons.

Coastal Carolina was declared the No. 3 seed based on its season-sweep of the Bulldogs.  Liberty, predicted to finish last in the preseason poll, tied with Gardner-Webb for fifth in the standings at 10-8, and the Flames secured the No. 5 seed and first round bye into the quarterfinals with their season-sweep of the Runnin’ Bulldogs.  Radford was the lone team not tied in the final standings, as the Highlanders finished league play 9-9 for seventh-place.

For the first time in league history, a four-way tie for eighth-place occurred, as Campbell, Charleston Southern, Longwood and Presbyterian all finished 5-13.  The multi-team tiebreaker of highest winning percentage based on the combined record between the tied teams was needed to determine the last four seeds.  Campbell went 2-4 (33.3 percent) against the other three teams, Charleston Southern was 3-2 (60.0), Longwood was 3-2 (60.0) and Presbyterian was 3-3 (50.0).  The Camels fell to the No. 11 seed due to having the lowest winning percentage among the group, with the Blue Hose receiving the No. 10 seed.  With the Lancers and Buccaneers remained tied with the same winning percentage, the tiebreak procedure reverted back to the two-way tiebreaker of head-to-head results.  Longwood claimed the No. 8 seed based on its 78-76, double-overtime win at Charleston Southern on Feb. 6.

No. 8 Longwood will open the first round of the tournament against No. 9 Charleston Southern at 2:00pm on Thursday, March 3.  No. 7 Radford and No. 10 Presbyterian will follow at 4:30pm, with No. 6 Gardner-Webb facing No. 11 and host Campbell at 7:00pm.  Quarterfinal action begins Friday, March 4 with No. 1 High Point against the winner of Longwood/Charleston Southern at 12:00pm, followed by No. 4 UNC Asheville vs. No. 5 Liberty at 2:00pm.  The 6:00pm game will feature No. 2 Winthrop vs. the winner of Radford/Presbyterian, and two-time defending champion and No. 3 seed Coastal Carolina playing the winner of Gardner-Webb/Campbell at 8:00pm.

As the No. 1 seed, High Point has secured the Big South’s automatic bid to the NIT should the Panthers not win the Conference Tournament.

All games will be played at Gore Arena / Pope Convocation Center on the campus of Campbell University.

Photo courtesy of UNCA Athletics

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