Coastal’s Greenwood beats buzzer, Bulldogs for big win

Kierre Greenwood drove the lane and made a short jumper with 5.9 seconds remaining to lift Coastal Carolina to a 65-64 win over rival UNC Asheville Tuesday night at the HTC Center.

UNCA’s Trent Meyer managed a 3-point try from the left wing as time expired, but his shot was long.

The win lifted Coastal Carolina to a 13-12 overall record and an 8-6 mark in the Big South. UNC Asheville slipped to 15-13, 9-4, and suffered its third consecutive loss. The Chanticleers also improved to 11-3 at home this season, including a 6-1 home Conference record.

Senior guard Anthony Raffa led all scorers with his 22 points. Badou Diagne had 12 points and Greenwood chipped in with 9 points. El Hadji Ndieguene led all rebounders with 9.

Senior guard Jeremy Atkinson paced the Bulldogs with 18 points, but it was DJ Cunningham’s dunk that put UNC Asheville in front with 18 seconds remaining, setting the stage for Greenwood’s clear-out on the offensive end. The game was close most of the way, and neither team led by more than 9 points. There were 11 lead changes and 9 ties.

Coastal used an early 9-0 run to take a 9-3 lead. The Chanticleers then stretched their lead to nine points at 27-18 on Michel Enanga’s breakaway layup before UNC Asheville rebounded to score the next nine points to tie the game at the 4:30 mark. Asheville took a brief 3-point lead before Badou Diagne hit a free throw and Raffa made a steal and layup to knot the game at 34-34 at the half.

Raffa had 14 points at the break on 6-9 shooting. Atkinson had 7 first-half points to lead the Bulldogs after being held scoreless for the first 12 minutes. He came into the game averaging 17 points and 7 rebounds per game.

UNC Asheville hit a couple 3-pointers to open the second half and took a 6-point lead at 42-37. Asheville still led 58-57 before Ndieguene made a pair of free throws and Greenwood had a breakaway layup to put Coastal in front, 61-58, with 2:47 left.

Raffa made two key free throws, but the Chanticleers didn’t get another bucket until Greenwood’s game-winner at the end. The win avenges a loss to UNC Asheville earlier in the season, 63-60.

Photo by Joel Beachum

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