ECU Edged By Coastal Carolina, 59-58

UABSPORTS.COM Jontae Sherrod
Jontae Sherrod

Dec. 18, 2010

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From wire and staff reports

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- Kierre Greenwood's jumper with two seconds left gave Coastal Carolina a 59-58 victory over East Carolina on Saturday, the Chanticleers' seventh straight win.

Desmond Holloway scored 21 points for Coastal Carolina (9-2) and Mike Holmes scored 16, including 12 in the second half.

After the Pirates (7-4) took a 56-54 lead on Robert Sampson's 3-pointer, Chad Gray hit 1 of 2 free throws and Holmes made a lay-up to put Coastal ahead 57-56 with 27 seconds left. Corvonn Gaines' lay-up put East Carolina on top 58-57 at the 0:10 mark.

"We had every opportunity [to win], but give them credit, they made some big plays," Pirate coach Jeff Lebo said. "We made some big plays offensively at the end, it was one of those game where whoever had the ball last was going to win. Greenwood just made a great shot."

The lead changed hands four times in the final minute.

The biggest lead in the second half by either side was five by Coastal, who opened the half on an 8-2 run to take a 32-27 lead on a Holmes' jumper. Gaines answered with a lay-up and the margin was never again more than three.

ECU gave up its one-point halftime lead seven seconds into the second half and didn't regain its advantage until Sherrod's jumper put the Pirates ahead 45-44 with 7:14 remaining.

Sherrod finished with a team-high 19 points, scoring 10 first half points, while Gaines had a career-best 12 points.

The Pirates were either tied or in front for the next 5:55 before Greenwood put Coastal back on top 53-52.

Although neither team shot over 50 percent in the second half, they each shot much better than in the first half. ECU shot just 38 percent in the first half, while Coastal Carolina was a woeful 6-30 (20 percent) from the field prior to intermission. In the second stanza, the Pirates again posted a higher shooting percentage than their foe (45.5-44.0).

"Defensively our kids gutted it out," Lebo said. "Even thought we had three guys foul out, we were right there at the end on the road against a good team. It's heartbreaking."

Without the services of senior starters Jamar Abrams and Brock Young, who were both sidelined due to injury, the Pirates fell behind 10-0 in the first three minutes. Sherrod got ECU on the board with a thunderous dunk and then cut the Chants' lead in half with a three directly across from the Pirate bench.

The Pirates went on a 17-4 run to take a 17-14 lead with 7:38 left before halftime capped by a Sherrod 3-pointer and pushed their lead to six with 2:45 to go. CCU closed the half on a 7-2 run to cut the Pirates' lead to 25-24 at halftime.