CHARLOTTE, N.C. (www.BigSouthSports.com) - The seedings and pairings for next week's Advance Auto Parts Big South Conference Men's Basketball Championship have been determined following the conclusion of the Conference's regular-season schedule this evening. A tiebreaker was needed to determine the No. 3 and 4 seeds as well as the No. 6-8 seeds.
Recaps from today's action are posted below the Tournament schedule.
For just the second time in the Conference's Tournament history, first round games will be contested with two match-ups on Monday, Feb. 27. No. 7 seed VMI (14-15, 8-10 Big South) will host No. 10 seed Radford (6-25, 2-16) at 7:00pm at Cameron Hall, while No. 8 seed High Point (12-17, 8-10) will entertain No. 9 seed Gardner-Webb (12-19, 6-12) at 7:30pm at Millis Center. The winners will advance to the quarterfinal round on Wednesday, Feb. 29, which will take place at No. 1 seed UNC Asheville.
UNC Asheville (21-9, 16-2) is the No. 1 seed after winning the outright regular-season championship on Feb. 11 and tying the Big South single-season record for most Conference wins (16). The Bulldogs will have home court advantage throughout the tournament, as they are hosting the quarterfinals and semifinals at their new on-campus facility, Kimmel Arena. Asheville will open against the winner of the High Point/Gardner-Webb game at 6:00pm on Feb. 29. Coastal Carolina (19-10, 12-6) garners the No. 2 seed and will tip-off the quarterfinals at 12:00pm on Wednesday against the winner of Monday's VMI/Radford game.
Campbell (17-14, 11-7) is the No. 3 seed and will face No. 6 seed Winthrop (11-19, 8-10) at 2:00pm. No. 4 seed Charleston Southern (18-11, 11-7) will conclude the quarterfinal round with a match-up against No. 5 seed Liberty (11-17, 9-9) at 8:00pm on Feb. 29.
Campbell and Charleston Southern tied for third-place in the Big South standing with 11-7 records. With the teams splitting the regular-season series, the tiebreaking process moved to each team's record against the top of the standings on down. Both squads did not play regular-season champion UNC Asheville the same amount of times, so the process moved to second-place Coastal Carolina. The Camels claimed the No. 3 seed due to its sweep of the Chanticleers, compared to the Bucs' two losses against Coastal.
Winthrop, VMI, Presbyterian College and High Point all tied for sixth at 8-10. Since the four teams did not play each other an equal amount of times, the tiebreaker went to the next step of each team's record against the top of the standings on down -- compared only against teams that each played the equal amount of times. Radford was the lone squad the four tied teams played twice, and High Point's 1-1 record against the Highlanders put the Panthers at the No. 8 seed and reduced the process to a three-way tie. Winthrop, VMI and PC all went 2-2 against each other, so the next step was records against the top of the standing on down -- again compared only against teams played an equal amount of times. The three teams each played fifth-place Liberty twice, and Winthrop received the No. 6 seed with its season sweep of the Flames, with VMI getting the No. 7 seed for going 1-1.
All two first round games and the four quarterfinal games will be video streamed live on The Big South Network presented by State Farm. The 2012 Advance Auto Parts Men's Basketball Championship will continue with the semifinals on Thursday, March 1 at Kimmel Arena, and both games will air live on ESPNU. The Championship game will be contested at the home site of the highest remaining seed on Saturday, March 3 live on ESPN2 at 12:00pm. The Big South's Tournament champion receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. The Conference Championship schedule is as follows:
First Round - Monday, Feb. 27 (at home sites) - all games available on Big South Network
Game 1: No. 7 VMI hosts No. 10 Radford, 7:00pm
Game 2: No. 8 High Point hosts No. 9 Gardner-Webb, 7:30pm
Quarterfinals - Wednesday, Feb. 29 (at Kimmel Arena, Asheville, N.C.) - all games available on Big South Network
Game 3: No. 2 Coastal Carolina vs. No. 7/No. 10 winner, 12:00pm ET
Game 4: No. 3 Campbell vs. No. 6 Winthrop, 2:00pm ET
Game 5: No. 1 UNC Asheville hosts No. 8/No. 9 winner, 6:00pm ET
Game 6: No. 4 Charleston Southern vs. No. 5 Liberty, 8:00pm ET
Semifinals - Thursday, March 1 (at Kimmel Arena, Asheville, N.C.)
Game 7: Semifinals - Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 6:00pm ET; TV: ESPNU
Game 8: Semifinals - Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 8:00pm ET; TV: ESPNU
Championship - Saturday, March 3 (at highest remaining seed)
Game 9: Championship - Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 12:00pm ET; TV: ESPN2
COASTAL CAROLINA 81, VMI 64 | BOX SCORE
Anthony Raffa scored a game-high 26 points as Coastal Carolina won its final regular season game 81-64 Saturday afternoon at Cameron Hall.
The Chanticleers (19-10, 12-6) used points from 10 different players to help defeat the Keydets (14-15, 8-10) for only their second home loss of the year.
VMI was held to its lowest shooting percentage of the year finishing 20-of-72 (27.8%) from the field including a 6-of-33 mark from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, Coastal shot 52.6 percent from the field (30-of-57) and made 6-of-9 from beyond the arc.
Leading by two at the half, Coastal went on a 10-3 run to open the second period, building a nine-point advantage four minutes into the half. Coastal would extend its lead to 12, but it was short-lived as VMI would pull within five on a 7-0 run to put the score at the 56-51 with 10 minutes remaining. Coastal bounced back and finished the game on a 25-13 run for its fifth conference road win on the year.
The Chanticleers overcame an early six-point deficit to take their second lead of the game 19-18 with just under nine minutes to play in the first half. VMI regained the lead temporarily on a pair of free throws with 20 seconds remaining in the first half. Coastal followed with a 3-pointer from Raffa, who scored 12 of his 26 points before the half to take a 36-34 lead into the break.
The first half saw eight different lead changes and the score was tied seven times. Coastal's largest lead was five points while VMI had a six-point lead at the midway point of the first half.
Chris Gradnigo added 16 points and had a team-high nine rebounds. Kierre Greenwood added to his defensive resume holding the Keydets' leading scorer Kieth Gabriel to 2-of-16 from the field.
The Keydets placed only one player in double figures scoring as junior forward Stan Okoye posted his fifth double-double of the season with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
UNC ASHEVILLE 67, WINTHROP 55 | BOX SCORE
J.P. Primm scored 17 points as UNC Asheville finished the regular season with a 67-55 Big South Conference victory over Winthrop Saturday afternoon at Kimmel Arena.
The win by Asheville (21-9, 16-2) was its 16th Big South Conference victory and that tied a conference record set by Coastal Carolina last season.
The Big South Conference regular-season champions also picked up their 21st win of the year, matching the most wins by a Bulldog program in the regular season in the school's Division I era.
Matt Dickey added 12 points and four assists in the victory. Jeremy Atkinson finished with 12 points and five assists.
Winthrop (11-19, 8-10 Big South) was led by Reggie Middleton with 12 points and six assists. George Valentine contributed 11 points, while Gideon Gamble and Matt Morgan pumped in 10 points each.
The Eagles jumped out to a 10-4 lead before Asheville caught up at 13-13 and then finally took the lead for good at 21-18. The Bulldogs used some hot shooting from beyond the arc to build a 35-26 halftime lead. Asheville was 14-of-21 from the field and 5-of-10 from long distance. Atkinson knocked down two treys and three other Bulldogs sank three-pointers.
Asheville used a late-rally in the first to build the nine-point advantage. Leading 26-24 with 4:21 left, Trent Meyer knocked down a long three-pointer to push the lead to 29-24. Dickey then fed Keith Hornsby for a lay-up to push the lead to 31-24.
At 33-26, Winthrop was playing for a last-second shot but Dickey forced a steal and sent a long pass to Hornsby who scored as the first-half buzzer sounded to give the Bulldogs the 35-26 lead.
The second-half saw each team whistled for 15 fouls each. Winthorp's defense limited the Bulldogs to just six field goals as the home team shot just .273 (6-of-22) from the field. However, Asheville was 18-of-24 from the foul line and never allowed the Eagles to get closer than eight points in the second half.
Winthrop in the second half shot just .455 from the free throw line (10-of-22) and .385 (9-of-22) from the field. The Eagles held the Bulldogs to 15 points under their season scoring average,
CHARLESTON SOUTHERN 65, RADFORD 59 | BOX SCORE
Kelvin Martin tallied his 12th double-double of the year and matched a career-high with five blocks as Charleston Southern capped the regular season with a 65-59 over Radford at the Dedmon Center on Saturday afternoon.
Martin finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds, and threw in three more steals to add to his Big South leading total. He also went 9-of-14 from the free-throw line, matching a career-best in makes at the charity stripe for the second time in three games. As a team, the Buccaneers made 25 of their 36 free throw attempts.
CSU (18-11, 11-7) trailed 54-51 when R.J. Price swished a jumper with 5:45 remaining, but used a 6-0 run to take the lead for good, and held on late with several key defensive stops. Charleston Southern broke open a contest that featured 15 lead changes and nine ties with a 14-5 run over the final 4 minutes and 48 seconds.
The Buccaneers also got double figures from Arlon Harper and Jeremy Sexton, who contributed 19 and 11, respectively.
Playing his final game in front of the home crowd, Johnathan Edwards paced Radford (6-25, 2-16) with 12 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double. Fellow senior Chance Smith added 10, while Javonte Green also had 10 points to go along with nine rebounds.
Both teams shot 41 percent in the first half to find themselves tied at intermission, 34-34.
Charleston Southern held a 40-35 edge on the glass. The Highlanders finished the contest shooting 38.9 percent, while holding the Buccaneers to 35.4 percent.
The 18 wins are CSU's most since compiling 19 during the 1994-95 season, one which ended with a Big South Tournament title.
PRESBYTERIAN COLLEGE 68, GARDNER-WEBB 62 | BOX SCORE
Al'Lonzo Coleman scored a career-high 30 points and pulled down 14 rebounds in his last collegiate game, leading the Presbyterian College men's basketball team to the 68-62 win over Gardner Webb this afternoon at the Paul Porter Arena in Boiling Springs, N.C.
PC ends the 2011-12 season with a 14-10 overall mark and 8-10 in the Big South. Gardner Webb falls to 12-19, 6-12. The 14 wins is a PC Division I record.
PC led by eight early in the second half, but GWU strung together six unanswered to make it 38-36 in favor of PC with 15:34 left. A Khalid Mutakabbir free throw at 14:54 ended the drought. In all, it was a 15-5 run that saw Gardner Webb take a 45-43 lead with 11:43 remaining.
GWU led by three, 47-44, with 9:33 to go before PC cut it to one with a basket by Coleman at 8:27. PC took the lead briefly off a Josh Clyburn jumper before GWU responded with a basket of its own to make it just a 49-48 Blue Hose lead with 6:30 on the clock.
Both teams traded the lead the next couple of minutes with PC taking a three-point lead, 54-51 with 4:56 left. GWU cut the lead back to one at 4:14 before a 6-0 run by PC took the Blue Hose up 60-53 with 2:20 left.
The Bulldogs used two back-to-back three-pointers to cut the PC lead to two 64-62 with 1:01 to go before heading to the line with the chance to tie the game with 22 seconds to go. Laron Buggs missed both and Kevin Hartley pulled down the offensive rebound to give GWU the ball back. Eric Washington stole the ball, however, and ran it down the court for the fast break lay-up to go up by four with 17 ticks on the clock.
Gardner Webb turned it over on the next possession after having the ball stripped by Coleman. He was fouled and sank two free throws to give the Blue Hose the six-point 68-62 win.
Tied 9-9 with 11:46 to go in the half, Gardner Webb used a 6-1 run to take a 15-10 lead with 8:22 on the clock. PC responded with a 6-2 run, capped off by a three-pointer by Pierre Miller, to make it 16-15 in favor of the Blue Hose at the 7:14 mark.
Gardner Webb responded with a basket at 6:27 to re-take the lead but the Blue Hose answered by outscoring the Runnin' Bulldogs 11-6 over the next three-and-a-half minutes and led 27-21 with just 3:02 left.
The Bulldogs cut the margin to two, 26-28, before PC scored five straight to make it a seven-point game, 33-26 with six seconds left. Tyler Strange hit a lay-up as time expired to make it five, 33-28, at intermission.
Following Coleman and his 30 points and 14 boards, which gave him his 11th double-double of the season, was Mutakabbir with 10 points. Buggs tied a career-high with 19 points, including 17 in the second half. Donta Harper tied his own career-high with 14 points 6-of-11 shooting and Stefon Johnson added eight points and six rebounds. Leading scorer Tashan Newsome finished with only four points on 2-of-9 shooting.
PC shot 55.8 percent from the field in the game, compared to 42.4 for GWU. The Blue Hose connected on 18-of-30 free throws, while the Runnin' Bulldogs hit eight-of-14. PC held the rebounding advantage, 34-28, including a 27-17 edge on the defensive end. GWU had four less turnovers, 8-12.
Gardner-Webb shot 42.4 percent for the game (25-of-59) and made just 8-of-14 from the charity stripe (57.1 percent). The 'Dogs were efficient from long range, making 4-of-9 baskets from outside the 3-point arc.
Presbyterian was red hot in the second half, shooting 59.1 percent (13-of-22) and hitting at a 55.8 percent clip for the game. The Blue Hose missed 12 free throws, but made 18, holding a solid 10-point advantage at the free throw line.
LIBERTY 49, CAMPBELL 41 | BOX SCORE
The Liberty men's basketball team clinched a No. 5 seed in the 2012 Big South Championship, defeating Campbell on Saturday, 49-41.
With the victory, the Flames finish the season 14-17 overall and 9-9 Big South and are set to face No. 4 seed Charleston Southern in the quarterfinals, on Wednesday. Campbell concludes the regular season at 17-14 overall and 11-7 in the Big South.
The victory sent seniors John Brown, Tanner Hoyt, David Minaya and Jesse Sanders out with one last victory in front of their own fans. Prior to the opening of Liberty's final regular season contest in the Vines Center, the foursome was honored as part of Senior Night.
Antwan Burrus led the Flames, tying a career high with 20 points and a season-high 12 rebounds. The forward also added a career-high six blocks, the most since he swatted five shots against Radford on Jan. 15, 2011. John Caleb Sanders chipped in 14 points for the Flames. Darren White led Campbell with 13 points, followed by Lorne Merthie with 11.
Liberty shot 37.5 percent (18-of-48) for the contest, while holding Campbell to 29.0 percent (18-of-62). The Flames victory is their first when scoring under 50 points since defeating Tusculum, 46-45, in overtime on Dec. 11, 2011.
The Camels won the rebounding battle, 40-36 and edged Liberty in the paint, 20-18. However, the Flames went 7-of-17 from three-point range, outscoring Campbell from behind the arc, 21-12.
Campbell lit up the scoreboard first off baskets by Trey Freeman and Eric Griffin. Burrus answered on the other end with a layup to cut it two, but a White dunk regained the four-point advantage for the Camels. After another layup by Burrus, Campbell posted four more points on a Freeman jumper and a Marvelle Harris dunk to make it 10-4 at 14:51.
The Flames began to find their mark during the ensuing 5:23, going on a 9-0 run. Tomasz Gielo kickstarted the burst with a layup, followed by a made free throw from Burrus. With just under 10 minutes left in the half, John Caleb Sanders knocked down back three-pointers to put Liberty ahead by three.
Freeman broke up the momentum with a jumper at 8:01, pulling the Camels within a point of the Flames. A Burrus layup regained the three-point cushion for Liberty, but a three-pointer by White knotted with game at 15 with 3:25 left in the period.
Liberty outscored the Camels, 7-2 during the remaining minutes of the half. A three-pointer by Tavares Speaks with 25 ticks left gave Liberty s five-point lead at halftime, 22-17.
Burrus led the Flames at halftime with 11 points and seven rebounds, followed by John Caleb Sanders with six tallies. White paced the Camels with five points.
Defense themed the first half, with both teams having trouble making baskets. Campbell shot 29.6 percent (8-of-27) in the opening period, while the Flames finished with 36.0 percent shooting (9-of-25). The Flames edged Campbell in the paint, 12-10 and off turnovers, 6-4. Campbell's halftime total marked the second straight contest the Camels have finished with 17 tallies in the first period.
The Flames came out firing on all cylinders in the second half, outscoring Campbell 8-2 in the early going. Burrus highlighted the span with six of Liberty's eight tallies, helping the Flames hold a 30-19 advantage at 15:19.
The three-pointers began to fly over the next two minutes and change. After a trey from Campbell's Merthie at the 14:04 mark, Speaks countered on the other end with one of his own four seconds later. John Caleb Sanders knocked down his third of the game with 13:02 remaining, putting Liberty up, 38-26.
The Camels cut the Liberty lead to seven, but John Caleb Sanders struck again at 8:49 with his fourth trey to give the Flames a 10-point lead. Campbell climbed with three points, courtesy of a 7-0 run to make it 41-38 at 4:25.
After a made free throw by Burrus, Campbell cut it to one with a three-pointer. Speaks answered with his third trey of the contest with 1:05 left to put the Flames up by four.
With Campbell forced to foul on the next Liberty possession, Minaya knocked down two free throws to help seal one last victory inside the Vines Center for the senior on Senior Night.
John Caleb Sanders capped off the Flames scoring with a fast break layup in the final 14 seconds en route to the 49-41 decision.