Chants enjoy record-setting rout over archrival Liberty

ccuhoops-3layupCoastal Carolina scored 59 second-half points to rout of rival Liberty 96-56 in men’s basketball action Saturday afternoon at The HTC Center. The 40-point margin on the scoreboard is the Chanticleers’ largest ever against a Big South Conference opponent.

Josh Cameron led Coastal, which improved to 18-8 overall and 9-5 in Big South play, with 17 points. The senior shot 50 percent from the floor and 5-of-6 at the free-throw line. He connected on two 3-pointers in the first half and also dished out four assists. Elijah Wilson finished the contest with 16 points on four made field goal, including a trio of threes. Shivaughn Wiggins (12) and Warren Gillis (10) also reached double-figures as 12 of 13 Chants that checked into the game recorded a point.

Coastal made 34 of its 62 shot attempts, including a season-high 13 3-pointers, on its way to a season-high 95 points. The Chanticleers also dominated the glass, outrebounding the Flames 43-23, counting a 30-17 edge on the defensive end. Tristian Curtis and Marcus Freeman led the Chants on the glass with nine boards each.

Liberty (7-20, 1-13 Big South) was led by Ryan Kemrite and Theo Johnson with nine points each as no Flame reached double-figures for the second consecutive game against the Chants. The Flames shot 36.5 percent for the contest, making just 19-of-52 attempts.

Coastal broke an early 6-6 tie with a quick 8-0 run as Wilson and Cameron bookended a Michel Enanga layup with 3-pointers. Liberty’s Ethan Layer then scored eight of the game’s next 10 points, cutting Coastal’s lead to 16-14 with 11 minutes to play in the first half.

Coastal promptly rolled off a 9-0 scoring streak to take a 26-14 lead on Curtis’ free throw with 7:22 to go in the half. The white and teal-clad Chants would score 11 more point in the period to take a 37-26 lead at the intermission.

CCU shot an even 50 percent (16-of-32) in the period and outrebounded the Flames 22-10. Coastal also held a 14-8 advantage in points in the paint.

Coastal expanded its halftime lead with a 26-8 run over the opening 10 minutes if the second half. Gillis made it a 30-point game with a pair of free throws with 9:17 to go. The Chants went on to outscore the Flames 29-20 the rest of the way with Colton Ray-St Cyr throwing down an emphatic dunk with 16 seconds to go and Ron Trapps putting the exclamation point on the win with a late 3-pointer.

The Chanticleers next travel to Radford on Monday, Feb. 16. The game, which is scheduled for an 8 p.m. tipoff, will be carried live on the American Sports Network.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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