CONWAY, S.C. -- Anthony Raffa scored 27 points and grabbed eight rebounds as Coastal Carolina beat Akron 74-70 in overtime Friday night in the season opener for both teams.
The game remained close throughout, as there were 12 lead changes and 11 ties over the first two periods.
Akron's Alex Abreu knocked down two free throws to send the game into overtime. Coastal Carolina, however, pulled away in the extra period, as Raffa converted two 3-pointers in a two-minute span to put the Chanticleers ahead 71-66.
Abreu sank two more free throws to narrow the gap to 73-70 with 25 seconds left to play in overtime but Raffa made a free throw of his own with two seconds left to seal the win.
Mississippi State freshman guard Malik Newman will withdraw from the NBA draft, but sources told ESPN he might explore other opportunities besides returning to Mississippi State.
Seton Hall sophomore Isaiah Whitehead will stay in the NBA draft and not return for his junior season.
Washington State's trio of Josh Hawkinson, Conor Clifford and Ike Iroegbu have withdrawn from the NBA draft and will play their senior season with the Cougars.