Coastal travels to Ole Miss; Raffa wins weekly award

Coastal Carolina hits the road for a game against Ole Miss. This will mark the fourth time the Chants have taken on a member of the SEC since 2010. Coastal is 2-1 in those meetings including a sweep of LSU in 2010 and 2011.

The Chanticleers opened the 2012-13 season Friday evening inside The HTC Center with a thrilling 74-70 overtime win over visiting Akron. Coastal was led by seniors Anthony Raffa and Kierre Greenwood. Raffa had 27 points and eight rebounds while Greenwood was just one point shy of his career-high with 19 points and dished out a team-high four assists.

Ole Miss returns four full-time starters from last year’s squad (Nick Williams – 32, Murphy Holloway – 30, Jarvis Summers – 30, Reginald Buckner – 25) that started a combined 117 games last season and boasts 228 career starts.

The Rebels opened the season with a 93-57 win over Mississippi Valley State and were led by junior transfer Marshall Henderson who scored 22 points. Returning starter Holloway added a double-double with 15 points and 11 boards.

Coastal Carolina and Ole Miss have never met on the basketball court. The Chants take on four new opponents this season including Ole Miss, Toccoa Falls, Johnson & Wales and Greensboro College.

Coastal coach Cliff Ellis became just the second coach in NCAA Division I history to win 100 or more games at four different institutions with a win over Akron earlier this season. Coach Ellis has won 100 or more games at South Alabama (171), Clemson (177), Auburn (186) and Coastal Carolina (100). He joined Lefty Driesell who won 100 or more games at Davidson (176), Maryland (348), James Madison (159) and Georgia State (103).

* Senior guard Anthony Raffa of the Coastal Carolina men’s basketball team was named the  Big South Conference Choice Hotels Men’s Basketball Player of the Week, the league announced on Monday. The honor is Raffa’s first weekly honor in a Coastal uniform and it is the first Player of the Week honor for a Coastal men’s basketball player since Feb. 7, 2011 when Desmond Holloway was given the award.

Raffa had a tremendous game in Coastal’s debut in The HTC Center.  He tallied 27 points, eight rebounds and two steals and hit a pair of clutch three-pointers in the 74-70 overtime victory over Akron.  He single-handedly recorded a 5-0 run to open up the second half and retake the lead from the Zips, as Coastal was previously ahead at the 8:20 mark of the first half.

With under three minutes to play in the game, Raffa hit a three-pointer to make it a two possession game.  In overtime, Raffa once again delivered from deep to extend the Coastal lead to four, then nailed a three with 1:06 to play to push the Chanticleer advantage to five.  Raffa added a free throw with two seconds left in overtime to give CCU the final margin.

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