Chants survive scare from Camels for sixth straight win

ccuhoops-dCoastal Carolina endured 12 Campbell 3-pointers and overcame a 14-point first-half deficit to remain perfect in Big South play with a 70-67 victory over the Fighting Camels Monday evening.

Coastal Carolina improved to 14-3 overall and 5-0 in league play in head coach Cliff Ellis’ 1,200th career game as a college head coach. Campbell dropped to 7-10 (1-3 Big South) with the loss.

Shivaughn Wiggins led the Chanticleers offensively with a season-high 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting, including a 2-of-2 effort from three. Josh Cameron scored 16 points in his 25 minutes off the bench, while Warren Gillis added 15 on six field goals and a pair at the free-throw line.

Campbell was paced by D.J. Mason and Kyre’ Hamer’s 16 points each, while Reco McCarter chipped in 10. The Camels made 12 of 38 3-pointers, but only 12-of-29 twos.

Trailing 33-27 coming out of the half, Coastal opened the second stanza on an 11-3 run to take its first lead of the game since leading 2-0 at the start of the game. After Tristian Curtis made his only field goal attempt of the game to register Coastal’s first points of the half, Gillis scored five straight on a 3-pointer and layup. Wiggins then made a pair at the line and Elijah Wilson gave the Chants a 38-36 lead with a thunderous dunk off a Wiggins assist.

Over the ensuing 10 minutes the two teams exchanged points as Campbell’s Andrew Ryan drilled a three to tie the game at 58-58 at the 5:06 mark just seconds after Cameron knocked down a trey of his own to give the Chants a lead.

Gillis then scored in the lane and Wiggins followed with his 21st and 22nd points of the game on a layup following a steal on the defensive end by Cameron to give the Chants a 62-58 lead at the final official timeout.

Campbell’s Hamer and Coastal’s Badou Diagne then exchanged two free throws before Hamer cut the Chants’ led to 64-62 with a jumper with 2:40 to play. Cameron and Gillis provided the game’s next four points with twisting layups to extend Coastal out to a game-high six-point lead.

However, Mason brought the Camels’ back with a possession with Campbell’s 12 and final three of the game. Gillis was fouled on the ensuing inbounds and the senior, who ranks seventh in the country in free throw percentage, made both to provide the Chants a 70-65 lead with 30 second to play.

Hamer found a bucket on the Camels’ next possession, trimming the Chants’ lead back to a single possession. Elijah Wilson was then sent to the free-throw line for the Chants nine seconds to play for the front end of a 1-and-1. Wilson missed the attempt and Campbell grabbed the rebound and raced down the floor for a final shot. Ryan spotted up for a 3-pointer from the right wing, but his shot clanked off the rim and Wilson grabbed the rebound as the shot expired, securing the Chanticleer victory.

After starting the game 1-of-10 from the field, Campbell got hot from long range and stormed out to a 26-12 lead on the Chanticleers with 5:17 to play in the first half. Of the Camels’ 26 points, 18 came by way of 3-pointers.

Coastal, which also struggled to find the bottom of the basket in the early going, rallied from its 14-point deficit to close Campbell’s lead to four at 26-22. Gillis ignited the Chants’ 10-0 run with a floater in the lane. Wiggins then took control and scored the final eight points of the run on back-to-back threes and a layup off the right side off the glass.

Campbell Rod Days ended the Chants’ scoring spree with a bucket in the paint, but Coastal’s Diagne countered with a pair at the line. CU’s McCarter then scored inside to put the Camels up 30-24 with 1:37 to play before the break. Two possessions later Cameron scored three at the free-throw line after he was fouled shooting 3-pointer. However, McCarter capped the half’s scoring with the Camels’ seventh trey of the game to send the teams into the locker room with Campbell holding a 33-27 lead.

Coastal closed the game shooting 53.3 percent (24-of-45) and outscored the Camels 32-20 in the paint despite being outrebounded 35-32. The Chants shot an even 50 percent from beyond the arc and 76.2 percent from the charity stripe.

The Chanticleers returns home to The HTC Center Saturday, Jan. 17, where they will put their 14-game home winning streak on the line against Gardner-Webb. The game, which is scheduled to tip at 4:30 p.m., is the second of a doubleheader with the women’s team taking on Winthrop at 2:00 p.m.

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