Hot-shooting Chanticleers sail to win over Highlanders

Anthony Raffa tied a career-high with 28 points as Coastal Carolina cruised to an 82-62 victory over Radford on Saturday afternoon in Kimbel Arena.

Entering the game ranked fifth in the nation in shooting percentage (49.9%), Coastal finished the game 29-of-44 (65.9%) for its highest mark in Big South play. The Chants opened the game 3-of-13 from the field but finished by making 26-of-31 (83.9%).

A pair of 3-pointers helped Radford build an early 12-6 lead at the 12:58 mark but the Chanticleers scored nine straight points to take a 15-12 lead while holding the Highlanders scoreless for over four minutes.

Holding a 23-18 edge at the 5:35 mark of the first half, Chris Gradnigo hit the first jump shot for the Chanticleers after scoring the first 22 points in the paint. Including that jumper, Coastal hit 11-straight baskets and held Radford scoreless the last 3:22 of the half to take its biggest lead into the half, 41-23.

After trailing by 18 Radford would cut the lead to 12 on a 3-pointer from Daniel Mitchell who scored a career-high 21 points for the Highlanders on 9-of-11 from the field that included 3-of-3 from beyond the arc. Despite shooting 11-of-14 from the field in the second half, Radford took advantage of Coastal’s 14 second half turnovers to get within 11 with 5:21 left in the game. The Chants would knock down their free throws, making 21-of-28 from the line, finishing two away from a season-high.

Coastal (14-5, 7-2 BSC) dominated Radford (4-18, 1-9) on the glass, finishing with 36 boards compared to 22 from Radford. Coastal is currently ranked seventh in the NCAA with a +8.6 rebounding margin.

Kierre Greenwood finished with 17 points and six assists while committing only two turnovers while Sam McLaurin scored 10 points and tied a game-high with eight rebounds.

Gradnigo chipped in 13 points and tied a game-high with eight boards in only 25 minutes. It was his seventh straight game scoring in double-figures.

Coastal will hit the road for two games beginning Thursday against Presbyterian College followed by a Saturday night game against Gardner-Webb on Jan. 28.

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