Chants drop finale to Bucs; draw Liberty in first round

Senior guard Anthony Raffa and sophomore guard Warren Gillis led all scorers with 23 and 19 points, respectively, but it was not enough to overcome the sharp-shooting Buccaneers of Charleston Southern University at home. The Bucs used 15 3-pointers to take a 75-64 victory over the Chants inside the CSU Field House.

The win improves CSU’s record to 17-11 and 12-4 in the Big South Conference. With the win, the Bucs became the inaugural Big South Conference South Division Regular Season Champions. The Chants record falls to 14-14 overall and 9-7 in Big South action.

Raffa led the Chants with 23 points while going 7-of-8 from the free-throw line. He also grabbed six rebounds. Gillis had 19 points while going 8-of-11 from the floor and snagging four boards. Freshman Tristian Curtis gave the Chants a spark off the bench in the second half scoring nine points in just 11 minutes of action while going 4-of-4 from the field.

Freshman Michel Enanga led the Chants with seven rebounds while seniors Kierre Greenwood and Raffa each had six.

The Chants shot 48.0 percent from the field while hitting just 3-of-16 from 3-point range. The Bucs on the other hand shot 45.2 percent from the field including 15-of-34 from long range.

Coastal opened the game with a fury as the Chants went on an 11-0 run over the opening three minutes of action. The run would be short lived as the Bucs answered with 15-3 run that featured three 3-pointers. The action would go back-and-forth until back-to-back 3-pointers around the eight minute mark gave CSU a 23-17 lead. Back-to-back 3-pointers around the three minute mark extended the Bucs lead to 11 but Raffa would close out the half with a 5-0 run of his own to cut the lead to eight at half time.

The Bucs first basket of the second half was a three that extended their lead to 11 and the Chants would never cut the lead back to single digits the rest of the way. The Bucs would push their lead to as much as 20 points in the second half but a 6-0 run by the Chants to close out the game cut the deficit to 11 as time expired.

With the win the Bucs claimed the No. 1 seed out of the South Division and will have a first round bye in the Big South Conference Championship. The Chants earn the No. 4 seed in the South and will face the No. 5 seed out of the North Division, Liberty, on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. inside The HTC Center.

Photo by Joel Beachum

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