Chants topple Highlanders for seventh straight victory

ccuhoops-23blockBadou Diagne double-doubled with 12 points and 16 rebounds, while Elijah Wilson poured in 19 as Coastal Carolina won its seventh straight game by a 72-60 margin over Radford Saturday.

Diagne, who surpassed 1,000 career points in the game, dominated inside as he recorded his season-high 16 boards, including 13 on the defensive glass. Wilson’s team-high 19 points came on 6-of-14 from the field, 3-of-8 from three and 4-of-4 at the free-throw line. Jaylen Shaw poured in 14 points, while Shivaughn Wiggins added 10.

Coastal shot an even 50 percent for the game, making 27 of its 54 attempts. The Chants made 7-of-22 3-point attempts and shot 78.6 percent (11-of-14) at the line. Fueled by Diagne’s performance, Coastal outrebounded Radford 38-34 and outscored the Highlanders 40-26 in the paint.

The Chanticleers improved to 15-8 overall and 9-4 in league play with the win. Coastal has won each of its last seven games marking the programs longest win streak since winning 22 straight during the 2010-11 season.

Digane’s 3-pointer at the 16:44 mark of the second half pushed him over 1,000 career points and gave CCU an eight-point lead. Moments later Wilson match Diagne with a three of his own, giving Coastal its first double-figure lead of the contest at 44-33.  Radford’s Jones and Davis combined for a 6-0 run, but Ron Trapps halted the Highlanders momentum with a fast break layup and a 3-pointer, pushing the Chants up 49-39 with 10 minutes to play.

Radford came out of the under-8 media timeout with a quick five point burst, cutting Coastal’s 11-point edge to six. Three possessions later Brandon Holcomb threw down an alley-oop from Jones to pull the Highlanders with four at 53-49. That would be as close as RU got the rest of the game as Shaw drained his second 3-pointer of the game on the ensuing possession.

The Chants grew their lead to 11 before Radford started fouling late in the game, but the strategy did not pay off as Wiggins and Wilson went a combined 8-of-8 at the free-throw line to secure the game.

The opening 13 minutes featured four lead changes and six ties before Coastal seized control on the scoreboard with a 10-4 run to take a 27-21 lead on a Colton Ray-St Cyr free throw at the 4:12 mark.  Radford scored the game’s next five points, but Coastal responded with a Wilson triple and a massive one-handed dunk by Ray-St Cyr to take a 32-26 lead into the intermission.

Coastal shot 45.2 percent in the half, while limiting Radford to 33.3 percent. The Chants also controlled the battle inside, outrebounding the Highlanders 20-17 and outscoring them in the paint 22-10 during the opening 20 minutes.

Coastal Carolina returns to the friendly confines of the HTC Center, where the Chants are 9-2 this season, on Thurs., Feb. 11 to face Big South Preseason Player of the Year John Brown and his High Point Panthers. Tipoff between the two conference powers is set for 7 p.m.

Photo courtesy of RU Athletics

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