The UNC Asheville Bulldogs used nearly every second of regulation and an overtime period chasing the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers’ lead Wednesday night, but a final missed 3-pointer left them short of the win, 66-68.
UNCA red shirt junior forward Will Weeks pushed the game into the extra period when he grabbed one of the Bulldogs’ 19 offensive rebounds and scored as time expired. In both regulation and overtime, the Bulldogs played for the final shot and the potential win by shooting from behind the arc.
“Our guys thought we could win the game,” Nick McDevitt, UNCA coach said. “We got some good looks around the basket that didn’t go in.”
The Bulldogs struggled to score for much of the second half and overtime, and ended the game making only 34.6 percent from the field and an uncharacteristic 17.9 percent from the 3-point line.
“We just didn’t make enough shots to win the game,” McDevitt said.
The Bulldogs kept the game close by causing turnovers and out-rebounding the Chanticleers.Sam Hughes, senior forward, and Dylan Smith, freshman guard, completed the game with double-digit point and rebound totals. Smith led the Bulldog scoring with 14 points and Weeks added 12 points.
Coastal Carolina played a strong inside-out game to match UNCA’s changing defensive schemes. Elijah Wilson, Chanticleer guard, scored a game-high 23 points on 9-for-15 shooting and 3-of-5 from the free-throw line.
UNCA’s Hughes showed his frustration at only hitting 2-of-7 of his attempts from the foul line. The Bulldogs team only hit 5-of-14 free throws for the game, or 35.7 percent. Dylan Smith finished 2-for-2.
“You can’t win too many ball games going 5-of-28 from three point range and 5-of-14 from the stripe,” McDevitt said.
Following the game, UNCA sits in a three-way tie at the top of the Big South Conference with High Point University and Winthrop University at 7-3 conference records. The Bulldogs face the Longwood University Lancers Saturday at Kimmel Arena in Asheville. The Bulldogs defeated the Lancers for a road win earlier in the season.