CONWAY, S.C. -- Anthony Raffa scored 25 points as Coastal Carolina beat Clemson 69-46 Wednesday night, stunning the Tigers for a second straight year.
The Chanticleers (4-5) came in with just one win this season over a Division I team. But they showed no fear against the Tigers (6-4), leading for the final 27 minutes of the game.Clemson appeared like it might get back into the game on a monster jam by Devin Booker that cut Coastal Carolina's lead to 41-36 with 11:55 to go in the game. But a Kierre Greenwood 3-pointer started a 25-6 run.By the time Raffa hit his fifth driving layup of the game and a free throw to put the Chanticleers up 67-42, the sellout crowd at Coastal Carolina's new HTC Arena was roaring,Booker led Clemson with 16 points.The Chanticleers played a zone and dared Clemson to beat them with outside shots. It worked. The Tigers shot 32.1 percent (17 of 53), and that was with Booker making seven of his 11 shots. Clemson made just four of its 21 3-point attempts.Coastal Carolina shot 46 percent (25-of-54).Raffa, who came into the game as the Big South Conference's leading scorer at 20.4 points a game, didn't hesitate to take it right to the Tigers. He had two fearless drives right at Booker as the Chanticleers finished the first half on a 13-2 run to lead 27-19 at the break.Raffa didn't stop during the decisive second half run. He airballed a 3 from the left corner, but didn't stop, running to the right corner, calling for the ball and burying the shot from behind the arc to put Coastal Carolina up 58-42 with just under five minutes to go.Last season a tip-in at the buzzer gave the Chanticleers a 60-59 win over the Tigers.Warren Gills scored 12 points, Greenwood 10 points and Uros Ljeskovic added four points and 10 rebounds for Coastal Carolina, whose other wins this season have been against Akron, Johnson & Wales and Toccoa Falls.The Chanticleers are now 3-28 all-time against Atlantic Coast Conference teams.The 46 points was the least Clemson has scored in coach Brad Brownell's three seasons, and the Tigers lowest output since losing to Miami 62-38 in January 2006.Jordan Roped scored 12 points for the Tigers. Milton Jennings scored just five points on 2-of-12 shooting.