Coastal shooting lights out as Buccaneers come to town

Coastal Carolina returns home for the first time in 11 days on Saturday against Charleston Southern having won six of their last seven games.

The secret of the Chanticleers’ success is a matter of simple math. Coastal currently ranks second in the nation in field goal percentage (50%) while the Chants have not allowed a team to shoot 50 percent or better through 21 games.

Coastal shot a season-high 65.9 percent against Radford on Jan. 21 at Kimbel Arena, its last home game. The highest mark against a Division I opponent this year is 49 percent by UNC Asheville, which is Coastal’s lone loss during the recent stretch.

Leading the hot-handed Chants (16-5 overall, 9-2 Big South) has been senior Anthony Raffa, who has recorded double figures in 19 of his 21 games played this season. Raffa set a career-high with 32 points against Gardner-Webb last Saturday night.

Charleston Southern (14-8, 8-4) enters Saturday’s game coming off a loss to the Campbell Fighting Cameels 62-57 on Thursday night in Buies Creek. Prior to that game Charleston Sothern had won four straight games, including a 93-88 win at first-place UNC Asheville.

The Buccaneers are led by freshman Saah Nimley who is averaging 14.6 ppg and 4.1 assists per game which ranks fifth in the Big South. Senior Kelvin Martin leads the conference in rebounds per game (8.9) and adds 12.8 ppg for CSU.

The Chanticleers lead the overall series with Charleston Southern 31-29 dating back to the 1984-85 season. Over the last two years Coastal has won five straight against the Bucs.

The series is tied in game played in Conway at 13-13. The last 10 games in the series have been decided by 10 or less points with six being decided by fewer than five points.

Coastal won the first meeting on Jan. 7 in overtime 70-67. A 3-pointer by Kierre Greenwood with 23 seconds remaining in the extra period gave Coastal its first OT win of the year.

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