Chants return from exams to face tough hoops tests

After taking a week off for final exams, the Coastal Carolina men’s basketball team will be back in action Saturday when they host Montreat. Opening tip has been set for 2 p.m.

The game will be the first of a five-game home stand that will also feature games against ACC-member Wake Forest (Dec. 18), College of Charleston (Dec. 22) and Sun Belt members Texas Arlington (Dec. 29) and Texas State (Dec. 31).

The Chanticleers are coming off a disappointing 80-78 loss, a game in which the Chants had their chances to pull out a victory over the Gamecocks, a 2017 Final Four participant.

Demario Beck tied his career-high with 20 points in the contest and Jaylen Shaw made a solid return back to where he played as a freshman with 17 points.

CCU enters the game against Montreat with a 5-5 overall record and looking back over the first 10 outings the outcomes could be so much better. CCU has lost two games by six points (Lamar and Wofford), another two games by two points (Lamar in OT and South Carolina) and a 13-point loss to Vermont, a game in which they led with 10 minutes left in the game.

Zac Cuthbertson continues to lead the Chants in scoring and rebounding averaging 17 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Shaw averages 16.1 per game and leads the team in assists (46) and steals (17). He enters this stretch of home games with 1,087 points as a Chanticleer and is 19th among the all-time scoring leaders.

Demario Beck may have had the best two-game week of his career last week. After scoring 16 points with seven rebounds, two blocks and steal and assist at Hampton, he followed that up with those 20 points, along with six rebounds, two assists and two steals at South Carolina. He is averaging 11.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game and leads the team shooting 62 percent from the field.

CCU continues to get solid play from Artur Labinowicz who enters the game averaging 9.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. Matt Lindsey has become one of the Chants most consistent players. He averages almost seven points and almost three rebounds per game. He is also second on the team with 11 steals.

Ajay Sanders is coming off a 14-point performance against South Carolina and will carry a 5.9 points per game scoring average and 4.8 rebounds per game into the home stand.

Montreat will come to the HTC Center sporting a 12-1 record, which is the best record by any CCU opponent so far this season. The Cavaliers are also one of the top scoring teams in all of college basketball averaging 92.2 points per game.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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