Chants let late chances slip away in loss to High Point

ccuhoops-hpCoastal Carolina had two chances in the final 15 seconds, but was unable to get the ball to the rim as High Point hung on to capture a 68-67 win Thursday evening at the HTC Center.

Coastal’s final possessions ended with a held ball with the possession arrow favoring the Chants and an Elijah Wilson shot attempt in the paint that was blocked by High Point’s John Brown.

The Chanticleers (15-9, 9-5 Big South) were led by Shivaughn Wiggins’ 18 points. Marcus Freeman, who returned to action after missing the previous four game with injury, added 12 point in his 15 minutes. Tristian Curtis led Coastal on the boards with a career-high 15.

High Point (15-9, 8-5 BSC) was led offensively by Brown and Adam Weary with 13 points each, while Andre Fox chipped in 12 and Anthony Lindauer 10. Brown, the Big South Preseason Player of the Year, also paced the Panthers with nine rebounds.

Coastal closed the game shooting 43.6 percent (24-55), while High Point hit on 37.1 percent (23-62) of its shots. Neither team shot well from beyond the arc as Coastal made 4-of-14 shots and High Point 3-of-21. The key shooting difference came down to the free-throw line where the Panthers made 19-of-23 attempts and the Chanticleers only 15-of-26.

Coastal stormed out of the locker room and cut its 10-point halftime deficit to one in the first 4:35 of the second half. Wiggins scored six of Coastal’s points during the burst with Freeman easily scoring inside to make the score 44-43 with 15:25 to go.

The teams traded shots and free throws over the next four minutes until High Point broke open the one-point affair with a quick 6-0 run, taking a 57-50 lead as Brown laid in a shot off the glass.

High Point led 62-54 lead with six minutes to play, then Coastal went on a 7-0 spurt to cut the score to 62-60. Brown slowed the Chants with a score inside, but less than a minute later Wiggins knotted the game 64-64 with his fourth contorting layup of the night. HPU’s White answered with a layup and Haiishen McIntyre followed with pair of free throws, giving the Panther a 68-64 lead.

Wiggins countered with a 3-pointer from the left wing with 43 ticks to go. Twenty-eight seconds later, Curtis ripped down his final board of the game to set up the Chants’ final possession.

Badou Diagne made the first two buckets of the game, giving Coastal the early lead. However, the advantage would not hold as the Panthers surged out to a 20-15 lead over the next 10 minutes. Moments later a two Wilson free throw and a Colton Ray-St Cyr jumper cut the Chants deficit to 20-19. But, Coastal missed its next six shots as the Panthers pulled out to a 37-27 lead. Freeman scored inside with 10 seconds to go, but Lindauer drained a fade-away jumper as the half expired to lift the Panthers to a 39-29 lead.

Coastal shot 37.0 percent in the first half compared to High Point’s 42.4 percent. The Panthers controlled the glass 24-14 and both teams counted 14 points in the paint. The Chants were hampered by six missed free throws in the half, while HPU connected on all nine of its freebies.

Coastal Carolina plays its second consecutive home game Sat., Feb. 1, hosting Gardner-Webb. Tipoff between the Chants and Runnin’ Bulldogs is set for 2 p.m.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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