Golden Eagles host Coastal Carolina in battle of speed and athleticism


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Following a 107-32 romp over Crowley's Ridge in the season opener, the Tennessee Tech men's basketball team is prepared for a much tougher challenge on Thursday evening when it hosts Coastal Carolina in a match-up of similarly styled teams.

Tennessee Tech (1-0, 0-0) vs. Coastal Carolina (1-1, 0-0)
Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012
7 p.m. CT
Eblen Center - Cookeville, Tenn.

The Broadcasts
TV: none
Radio: Fox Sports Radio, 106.1 The Eagle (Roger Ealey)
Webcast: OVC Digital Network (Brandon Goodwin)

Setting the Stage
The Golden Eagles will face off against the Chanticleers for just the fourth time in program history on Thursday, returning the back-end of a home-and-home series following last season's match-up in Tech's annual Sears Bracket Buster Game.

Tech took last year's game in Conway, S.C. with a 77-71 nail-biter over a team that has shown a consistent ability to contend for the Big South title since the welcoming of head coach Cliff Ellis, the ninth-winningest active coach in all of Division I basketball. In Coastal Carolina's season opener, Ellis became just the second coach in NCAA Division I history to win 100 or more games at four different institutions.

The series between the Golden Eagles and Chanticleers was born in the 1987-88 season. The teams played a home-and-home series that season, with Coastal Carolina claiming a 91-80 win at home. Since the opener, the series has been owned by Tech, which won the second meeting 70-64 in Cookeville that same year.

If Golden Eagle fans think that Coastal Carolina's head coach Cliff Ellis looks a tad familiar, that's because Tech has faced the legend four times in program history. While at South Alabama, Ellis coached his team to two victories over the Golden Eagles, a 97-68 decision in 1979-80 and a 67-48 win in 1980-81.

Tech exacted revenge on the coach during the 1984-85 season, pulling off an incredible upset over Ellis' Clemson squad.  With just three seconds to play, Tech's Jon Miller grabbed an offensive weak side rebound and banked in the put-back shot to take down the Tigers, 68-67, with no time left on the clock.

Coastal Carolina owns a 1-1 record this season, falling to the Ole Miss Rebels in a Tuesday night showdown, 90-72, despite owning a 39-36 halftime advantage. In their season opener, the Chanticleers grabbed an impressive overtime victory over preseason Mid-American Conference favorite Akron. The 74-70 victory was just another indicator of how good this Coastal Carolina team can be and what they pose coming into Thursday's match-up against the Golden Eagles.

The Golden Eagles will set their sights on stopping senior guard Anthony Raffa. Through the first two games for the Chanticleers, Raffa is averaging 22.5 points and six boards.

Coastal Carolina will work on limiting senior guard Jud Dillard, who scored 25 points in the Golden Eagles' season opening 107-32 win over Crowley's Ridge. Sophomore guard Javon McKay will look to play havoc on the Chanticleers' defense after posting a double-double in the first game of the season.