Coastal lets one slip away in home loss to High Point

ccuhoops-wilsonThe Coastal Carolina men’s basketball team led by one with under 30 seconds to play Wednesday night inside The HTC Center but a miscue on offense and and a pair of missed 3-pointers allowed the High Point Panthers to steal a 77-74 victory on CCU’s home court.

Sophomore Badou Diagne led all scorers with 21 points and nine rebounds. He was 9-12 from the field including 2-4 from three. He also knocked down his lone attempt at the free throw line.

The loss drops the Chants record to 13-10 overall and 6-3 in Big South play while the win propels High Point’s record to 10-12 overall and 6-3 in Big South action.

CCU had 18 turnovers in the game and none more costly then at the 25 second mark when HPU’s Devante Wallace stole a pass from freshman Elijah Wilson and laid it in to give HPU a 75-74 lead.

Wilson scored 16 points in the game for the Chants while junior Warren Gillis scored 15 points and grabbed five rebounds. Gillis and junior Josh Cameron combined for 11 of CCU’s 18 turnovers in the game. Cameron’s 16-game double-digit scoring streak also came to an end as he scored eight points on 3-7 shooting.

High Point had four scorers in double-figures including preseason Big South Player of the Year John Brown who scored 19 points. Wallace added 17 points while Adam Weary chipped in 14. The final double-digit scorer was Lorenzo Cugini with 11 points.

Coastal out-rebounded the Panthers 29-25 and had a better shooting percentage 52.7 percent to 49.1 percent but it was not enough. Both teams combined to go 22-23 from the free throw line with Coastal hitting 9-9 and HPU going 13-14.

Coastal led by as many as eight points in the first half while the Panthers had just one lead in the opening period, 28-27 with 6:32 to play. The Panthers rallied late in the stanza to cut the Chants lead to just three after CCU built up a six point lead with 3:38 to play. Coastal led 39-36 at the break.

CCU and HPU traded leads over the opening seven minutes of the second half but a 9-2 run by the Panthers midway through the period gave High Point its largest lead of the game at 66-59. A Cameron three would end the run and cut the lead to just four with under eight minutes to play. Coastal eventually tied the game at 68 on a Wilson layup with under four minutes left on the clock. After a Cugini 3-pointer the Chants went on a 4-0 run to take a 72-71 lead with 1:20 left on the clock.

The Panthers hit a pair of free throws on the other end to take a one-point advantage but a driving layup by Diagne with 39 seconds left gave CCU back the advantage. Coastal was able to draw an offensive foul on defense and gained possession of the ball with 34 ticks left on the clock. The Panthers decided to use a full court press to disrupt the CCU offense and it caused the Wilson turnover with under 30 seconds to play. The pass was intercepted just beneath the HPU basket and Wallace laid it in to give High Point a 75-74 lead.

After a missed 3-pointer by the Chants, High Point hit a pair of free throws to go up three and a last second three by Diagne missed the mark giving High Point a 77-74 victory.

The Chants will return to action this Saturday at 2 pm as Coastal hosts Longwood.

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