Chants rally to beat Bucs, claim tourney’s top seed

ccuhoops-22dunkWarren Gillis and Elijah Wilson combined for 39 points and Coastal Carolina University’s men’s basketball team hung on in the final seconds to escape with 63-61 win over Charleston Southern Saturday at the HTC Center.

The victory gave the Chanticleers at least a share of the Big South Conference South Division Championship and the number one seed in next week’s VisitMytleBeach.com Big South Championships.

The Chanticleers trailed at the half, 32-25, but opened the second half with a 17-4 run that put them in front. But, after building a 10-point lead, at 57-47, with 4 minutes left, Charleston Southern rallied to take a 61-60 lead with under a minute to play. Gillis once again came up clutch hitting a jumper just inside the three-point arc with under 40 seconds left. Enanga added a free throw to make it 63-61 before Matt Kennedy missed an open 30-footer at the buzzer.

Kennedy led three players in double figures for his team, with 16 points, but the Buccaneers fell to 12-17 overall and 6-10 in Conference.

Gillis had 21 to lead all scorers, and Wilson added 18 points. Josh Cameron, who averages 14 points a game, had just eight points on 2-15 shooting but he hit a 3-pointer that tied the game at 36-36 and then Gillis hit a jumper in the lane that gave the Chanticleers their first lead since it was 11-10. Coastal also survived just shooting 4-19 from 3-point range for the game.

Charleston Southern had built an early lead on the heels of a 15-2 run that put the Buccaneers in front, 21-11. During that stretch, Coastal went nearly eight minutes with only one field goal. But, Coastal turned the tables to start the second half, as the Chanticleers opened with a run and held the Buccaneers to a single field goal for more than 10 minutes.

Each team made 15 free throws in the game and Coastal held a slim 38-37 rebounding advantage. The lead changed hands four times, but not after Gillis’ go-ahead bucket with 36 seconds remaining.

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