Chants go coast to coast, score big victory at home

ccuhoops-10Less than 48 hours after playing UCLA at the famed Pauley Pavilion, the Coastal Carolina men’s basketball team returned home to The HTC Center and got back into the win column with a 82-51 rout of Columbia International on Tuesday evening.

Warren Gillis finished 4-of-7 from the floor, including a 3-pointer, and 6-of-6 from the free-throw line to lead Coastal with 15 points, as the Chanticleers improved to 2-1. Joining Gillis in double-figures were Elijah Wilson with 14, Shivaughn Wiggins with 10 and Marcus Freeman with 10. Freeman also paced the Chants on the glass with a game-high 10 boards in just 17 minutes of action, as he recorded his first double-double of the season.

Columbia International shot near 50 percent during the opening nine minutes to keep the game close. With Coastal up 20-17 CIU’s Alonzo Green connected on a three to knot the game at 20-all. The Rams would go cold from the field as the Chanticleers scored six straight at the free-throw line. Coastal then turned on the defensive pressure that led to five Ram turnovers as Wilson completed a 19-0 run Coastal run with a layup with just over 2:30 to play in the half.

Wilson and Josh Cameron each connected on threes during the final two minutes of play, pushing the Chants’ halftime lead to 45-28 at the half.

Coastal extended its 17-point half time lead with a 12-5 run during the opening eight and a half minutes of the second half to make the score 57-33. Gillis hit a three and Coastal capitalized on its size advantage, scoring six points in the paint.

Continuing to pull away, CCU later got a 3-pointer and fast-break layup by Wilson, along with a pair of scores in the paint by Freeman in a 9-0 run that made it 70-38 just past the eight mark of the half and the Chants cruised the rest of the way.

After being below 40 percent shooting overall from the field for much of the first half, Coastal finished to hit on 24-of-54 attempts for a 44.4 field goal percentage, while Columbia International was just 17-of-51 (33.3 percent). The Chanticleers also dominated the paint, especially in the second half, holding a commanding 50-27 advantage on the glass and outscoring the Rams 34-12 in the paint.

Coastal returns to the hardwood of The HTC Center Saturday at 6 p.m. to host Piedmont International.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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