Chattanooga charges past Chants in Battle 4 Atlantis

ccuhoops-21blockDespite a season and Chanticleer career-high 20 points by Shivaughn Wiggins, the Coastal Carolina men’s basketball team suffered a 78-67 setback to Chattanooga on Thanksgiving Day in the championship game of the Battle 4 Atlantis Mainland Bracket in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Wiggins scored 15 in the first half, including nine by way of a trio of 3-pointers, on his way to 20 points. The 20-point performance was the fifth of Wiggins’ intercollegiate career, including four as a freshman at Mount St. Mary’s during the 2012-13 season. Joining Wiggins in double-figures for the Chants were Warren Gillis and Josh Cameron with 13 each.

Chattanooga was led by Ronrico White and Casey Jones with 21 and 20 points, respectively. Jones was also the game’s top-rebounder with 12 as he tallied a double-double. Also in double-figures for Chattanooga were Greg Pryor (15 points) and Justin Tuoyo (11 points).

Coastal falls to 4-2 with the loss, while the Mocs move to 3-3 on the season.

The Mocs opened the second half on an 8-2 run to erase Coastal’s five-point halftime lead and take a 43-42 lead at the 16:50 mark. Coastal responded with a 4-0 run with Wiggins scoring in the paint and Elijah Wilson making a pair of free throw to retake the lead at 46-43. However, the Chants’ advantage would not last as Chattanooga put together a 14-4 run, sparked by a pair of 3-pointers by White, over the next six minutes to pull out to a 57-50 advantage.

Coastal would get no closer than five throughout the remainder of the game as the Mocs answered each Chanticleer basket with one of their own or a made free throw. Chattanooga closed the game outscoring the Chants 11-7 – with each coming at the free-throw line – to provide the 78-67 final.

The opening eight minutes of play were fast paced as both teams raced up and down the court. With Coastal trailing 17-15, Cameron sank a pair at the line to knot the score with 11:24 showing on the clock. However, the Mocs, who were selected second in the SoCon preseason poll, responded with a 7-0 run over the ensuing four minutes, staking a 24-17 lead.

Cameron broke the Chattanooga scoring spree with a knifing layup and free throw. After a stop on the defensive end, Wiggins brought the Chants back to within one at 24-23 with a three from the top of the arc. The teams exchanged the game’s next 10 points before Wiggins was able to knot the game for a sixth time at 30-all with his third triple of the first half.

Coastal ended the half with on a 10-5 run, highlighted by Tristian Curtis’ tip-in and Wiggins’ layup in the final seconds, to give the Chanticleers a 40-35 halftime lead over the Mocs.

Coastal finished the contest connecting on 24-of-55 attempts for a 43.6 field goal percentage, while Chattanooga was 25-of-54 (46.3 percent) from the floor. The Chanticleers outscored Chattanooga 36-26 in the paint, but the Mocs turned 16 Coastal turnovers into 22 points.

The Chanticleers return home to The HTC Center for a game against SC State Tuesday, Dec. 2, before traveling to SEC member Auburn for a game on Friday, Dec. 5.

Photo courtesy of UTC Athletics

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