Runnin’ Bulldogs rally past Chants in Big South clash

ccuhoops-22Gardner-Webb, which made five free throws and a 3-pointer down the stretch, improved to 7-8 overall and 2-1 in Big South play with the win. Coastal Carolina fell to 7-6 overall and 1-2 in league play with the defeat.

GWU’s Tyrell Nelson led all scorers with 20 points to go along with seven rebounds, while Harold McBride (16 points) and Dylan Poston (12 points) also scored in double-figure for the victors.

Coastal was paced by Jaylen Shaw’s 16 points. Elijah Wilson and Shivaughn Wiggins scored 13 and 12 points, respectively, as the Coastal starting backcourt accounted for 41 of the Chants 61 points.

Gardner-Webb quickly turned its two-point halftime lead into seven in its first two possessions of the half. But, Coastal refused to allow the Runnin’ Bulldogs to extend their lead as Shaw knocked down consecutive 3-pointers, trimming the GWU lead to 36-33. Coastal continued the momentum created by Shaw to take a 43-41 lead on a Marcus Freeman free throw at the 12:30 mark of the period.

Gardner-Webb regained a single-possession advantage at 47-46 on Nelson’s sixth bucket of the night at the 9:54 mark. The teams would again go cold and not score another point until GWU’s Dylan Poston made a trey with 7:26 to go. Coastal regained the lead at 58-54 with 3:20 to play as Shaw scored his eighth point in a three-minute span with a driving layup.

Wilson’s dunk 30 seconds later gave the Chants its 60-54 lead, but it would not be enough as Gardner-Webb used free throws and a 3-pointer by McBride to secure the home victory.

Coastal hosts long-standing rival Winthrop Sat., Jan. 2 at the HTC Center. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m. Coastal is 2-1 in its last three meetings against the Eagles with the victories coming in the 2014 and 2015 Big South Tournament title game.

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