Coastal shocks Tigers at the buzzer


by - Senior Writer -
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CLEMSON – Coastal Carolina’s Chris Gradnigo tipped in his own missed shot at the buzzer, the ball falling over the rim and into the net as the horn sounded, lifting Coastal Carolina to a 60-59 win over Clemson Tuesday night in Littlejohn Coliseum in the return of former Clemson coach Cliff Ellis.

It was the second consecutive loss to a mid-major on their home court for Brad BrownellBrad Brownell
Head Coach
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’s Clemson Tigers, who lost to the College of Charleston last weekend.

Gradnigo had made a 3-pointer with 1:02 remaining to bring Coastal Carolina to within one at 59-58, and Clemson tried to run as much of the clock as they could before taking a shot, but senior guard Andre YoungAndre Young
Sr. Guard
#11 5-9, 175
Albany, GA

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missed a layup with 29 seconds to play that gave Coastal Carolina one more shot.

Gradnigo missed a jumper with 13 seconds remaining, but Coastal guard Chris Raffa snared the rebound and Ellis called a timeout with 19 seconds remaining to set up the final play. Gradnigo took the inbounds pass, missed his first shot but followed it up with the game-winner for Coastal’s first win in six tries in the series.

“We couldn’t get a stop, and this is a very disappointing loss,” Brownell said after the game. “We couldn’t get a stop the last four or five possessions of the game. We struggled offensively in the second half, and I think guys got tight and made silly passes and had turnovers which led to fast break layups. We don’t do that and it would be hard for them to make up 12 points. To their credit, they had a couple of guys step up and make big plays.”

The teams muddled through much of a sluggish back-and-forth first half and were tied at 21 with just over four minutes remaining when Young went on a tear.

He drained a three-pointer from the top of the key to make it 24-21 with just over four minutes remaining in the half, and then used two transition drives to make four free throws and make it 28-21. On the ensuing possession, Young again found a loose ball and then dropped a pass off to freshman T.J. SappT.J. Sapp
Fr. Guard
#1 6-3, 190
Fort Lauderdale, FL

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, who drove the lane and dropped off a beautiful pass to Devin BookerDevin Booker
Jr. Forward
#31 6-8, 245
Whitmire, SC

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for a thunderous dunk. One possession later, Young nailed another trey – this one from the right corner – to make it a 12-0 run in just two minutes of game action.

The Chanticleers scored the last four points of the half, however, and the Tigers led 33-25 at intermission.

Coastal came out on a 16-7 run in the first seven minutes of the second half, taking a 41-40 lead on Gradnigo’s jumper with just over 12 minutes remaining.

The game would swing back and forth for the next 12 minutes, but the Tigers appeared to have the game in control when Tanner SmithTanner Smith
Sr. Guard
#5 6-5, 210
Alpharetta, GA

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nailed a 3-pointer from the corner with 1:46 remaining to put Clemson up 59-55. Gradnigo started the Chanticleers’ final run on the next possession, and the Tigers would never score again in taking the loss.

Brownell said the Tigers lacked the defensive heart he likes to see, and said the Tigers missed several easy shots around the basket in the first half that came back to haunt them.

“We missed a lot of shots, and missed plays around the rim,” Brownell said. “Those are shots these guys need to finish. We didn’t defend like we need to, and we didn’t get stops late. They have to dig deeper individually. The older players’ attention to detail hasn’t been as good as it needs to be on some things. The margin for error is so small.”


Ellis said he was happy to get the win in his former home.

“We were very fortunate to win,” Ellis said. “It was anybody’s ballgame, but we just happened to get the basket at the end. Brad has a lot of younger players on that team, and they are finding themselves a little bit. They will be fine, and they will have a good ball team before all is said and done.”

The Tigers were led Young’s 20 points, but no other player scored in double digits. Smith added nine points and seven rebounds and Milton JenningsMilton Jennings
Jr. Forward
#24 6-9, 225
Summerville, SC

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had eight points for the Tigers. Raffa and Gradnigo each scored 21 points to lead Coastal Carolina.

The Tigers return to action this Friday night at Littlejohn Coliseum, hosting the Furman Paladins at 7 p.m.


VISITORS: Coastal Carolina 5-0
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
05 McLaurin, Sam....... f  2-3    0-0    0-0    1  3  4   4   4  1  0  0  0  21
15 Gradnigo, Chris..... f  8-19   1-5    4-5    1  1  2   3  21  1  4  0  1  31
40 Pack, Jon........... c  1-5    0-0    0-0    2  7  9   2   2  3  1  1  0  34
02 Raffa, Anthony...... g  8-13   1-2    4-4    3  4  7   2  21  2  3  0  4  37
55 Greenwood, Kierre... g  1-3    1-1    3-4    0  2  2   2   6  3  3  0  0  33
00 Gillis, Warren......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   0   0  0  0  0  1   9
01 Crawford, Brandon...    1-2    0-0    1-2    0  1  1   2   3  1  1  0  0  11
11 Moore, Dexter.......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   3
34 Griffin, Jordan.....    1-1    1-1    0-0    0  2  2   2   3  1  1  0  0  21
   TEAM................                            1  1
   Totals..............   22-46   4-9   12-15   7 22 29  17  60 12 13  1  6 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half:  8-24 33.3%   2nd Half: 14-22 63.6%   Game: 47.8%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  2-5  40.0%   2nd Half:  2-4  50.0%   Game: 44.4%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  7-8  87.5%   2nd Half:  5-7  71.4%   Game: 80.0%    1


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOME TEAM: Clemson 2-2
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
24 Jennings, Milton.... f  4-8    0-1    0-1    2  3  5   4   8  1  2  0  1  18
31 Booker, Devin....... f  3-11   0-2    1-2    2  2  4   2   7  0  1  1  0  35
04 Hall, Rod........... g  2-6    0-0    0-0    2  0  2   1   4  3  1  0  0  31
05 Smith, Tanner....... g  4-7    1-3    0-0    2  5  7   1   9  3  3  0  0  33
11 Young, Andre........ g  6-12   3-8    5-6    0  3  3   2  20  4  0  0  3  39
01 Sapp, T.J...........    2-4    1-3    1-2    1  1  2   1   6  1  1  0  2  14
10 Baciu, Catalin......    1-3    0-0    1-2    0  1  1   1   3  0  2  0  0  10
21 Narcisse, Bryan.....    0-3    0-1    0-0    1  2  3   4   0  0  1  1  1  11
32 McDaniels, K.J......    1-3    0-1    0-0    0  2  2   0   2  0  0  0  0   9
   TEAM................                         5     5             1
   Totals..............   23-57   5-19   8-13  15 19 34  16  59 12 12  2  7 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-30 40.0%   2nd Half: 11-27 40.7%   Game: 40.4%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  3-11 27.3%   2nd Half:  2-8  25.0%   Game: 26.3%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  6-8  75.0%   2nd Half:  2-5  40.0%   Game: 61.5%    2


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Officials: Bryan Kersey, Ray Natili, Tim Comer
Technical fouls: Coastal Carolina-None. Clemson-None.
Attendance: 6211
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Coastal Carolina..............   25   35  -   60
Clemson.......................   33   26  -   59

Points in the paint-CCU 24,CU 30. Points off turnovers-CCU 14,CU 19.
2nd chance points-CCU 8,CU 8. Fast break points-CCU 8,CU 2.
Bench points-CCU 6,CU 11. Score tied-7 times. Lead changed-9 times.
Last FG-CCU 2nd-00:03, CU 2nd-01:46.
Largest lead-CCU by 3 2nd-08:47, CU by 12 1st-02:15.

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