Chanticleers welcome giant LSU to tiny Kimbel Arena

Tuesday night’s game against LSU, billed by Coastal Carolina coach Cliff Ellis as the biggest game ever played in Kimbel Arena, wasn’t actually supposed to be played at the cracker-box gym.

Long-range plans called for LSU to serve as the first-ever opponent on the new Convocation Center. However, delays have forced the Chanticleers to spend one more season in the 1,000-seat Kimbel before moving into the new 7,000-seat facility.

LSU, impressive in its 96-74 season-opening victory over Nicholls State on Saturday, will likely be playing in front of the smallest crowd ever, but not the tamest. CCU fans have been snapping up tickets for this one for some time, and the Chants are ready to prove they can hang with the SEC foe.

There’s every reason for them to believe it. Coastal Carolina beat LSU 78-69 in overtime in Baton Rouge last year in the only previous meeting between the two schools.

The Tigers open a four-game road trip with a game at Coastal Carolina before competing in the Charleston Classic. Coastal Carolina should offer stiffer competition for the Tigers – the Chants have placed four players in double figures in both their lopsided victories.

The Tigers are coming off one of their most impressive outings of the Trent Johnson Era. They scored 96 points against Nicholls, only the fifth time they’ve reached 90 points under Johnson, and placed seven players in double figures.

In addition to the steady play of veterans Andre Stringer and Ralson Turner, LSU watched three of its highly touted freshmen come up big. Anthony Hickey had 14 points, five assists and four steals, John Isaac scored 13, and Johnny O’Bryant totaled 12 points, eight rebounds and two blocks.

The Chants have shown they have the ability to put points on the board, tallying 200 and winning by an average of 42.5 points in their two games.

Louisiana native Chris Gradnigo averages 16.5 points and 8.0 rebounds, and scored 23 against Methodist. Anthony Raffa (17.0 points) and Kierre Greenwood (11.5) also average double figures. Coastal is the defending Big South champion.

The game will be broadcast locally on HTC.

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