Chants catch fire from long range to blast past Bishops

ccuhoops-faceThe Coastal Carolina men’s basketball team made a season-high 13 3-pointers and pulled away in the second half to an 89-54 victory over North Carolina Wesleyan Thursday night at the HTC Center.

Josh Cameron made six of the 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 21 points, setting a new season-high for the second time in as many nights, as the Chanticleers improved to 4-5.

Cameron was 6 for 10 from the field, all of the attempts from 3-point range, and Coastal shot 13 for 29 (44 percent) from behind the arc as a team, to set a season-high for treys, surpassing the nine it made in the loss at Minnesota.

On the inside, El Hadji Ndieguene had a big double-double with 14 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. The Chants put six players in double figures as Warren Gillis added 13 points and a team-high five assists, Elijah Wilson and Colton Ray-St Cyr each chipped in 11 points and Uros Ljeskovic chipped in 10.

Coastal made three 3-pointers in the game’s first six minutes, but still trailed 14-12 before going on an 11-0 run over the midway point of the opening half. Cameron, who had started off the contest with back-to-back 3-pointers, hit another before Wilson converted a layup, Ljeskovic scored three points and Ray-St Cyr capped the spurt with another trey to make it 23-14 with 9:54 left in the half.

It was still only 27-22 before Gillis hit the team’s seventh field goal from behind the arc, Ljeskovic put back his own miss and Gillis put down a one-handed dunk after stealing the ball near midcourt to stretch the advantage to 34-22.

Leading by nine at halftime, Coastal outscored NC Wesleyan 13-6 in the first four and half minutes of the second half to make it 48-32. Cameron drained two more 3-pointers and the Chants started to capitalize on their size advantage as Ndieguene got three baskets in the paint.

Continuing to pull away, CCU later got a three-point play by Ljeskovic, a driving layup by Wilson and a fast-break layup by Ray-St Cyr in an 8-0 run that made it 62-38 just past the midway mark of the half and the Chants cruised the rest of the way.

After being below 40 percent shooting overall from the field for more than half the game, Coastal finished strong to hit on 30 of 60 attempts, while NC Wesleyan was just 23 of 66 (34 percent). The Chanticleers also dominated the paint, especially in the second half, holding a commanding 47-33 advantage on the glass and outscoring the Battling Bishops 39-18 in the paint.  After 10 first-half turnovers, CCU committed just three in the second 20 minutes.

After a nine-day break, the Chants return to action Saturday, Dec. 14 when they host Reinhardt University at 7:30 p.m.

Photo by Joel Beachum, Carolina Clicks Photos

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