CCU men, women close out Sun Belt play as No. 8 seeds

NCAA Basketball: Coastal Carolina at Texas-ArlingtonCoastal Carolina trailed by 20 points early, made a strong second-half comeback to take a small lead, but could not complete the win in a hard-fought 77-73 loss at Appalachian State.

The Chanticleers (15-16, 10-8 Sun Belt) fought all the way back and actually led by two 59-57 with eight minutes left in the game, but rebounding and missed free throws turned out to be the downfall in another tight Sun Belt Conference game.

Shivaughn Wiggins scored a team, game and season-high 29 points and Jaylen Shaw added 20, but they were the only two Chants to reach double digits.

CCU shot 40 percent from the field, but only 32 percent on their threes, and the big problem was only hitting 18 of their 33 free throws (55%).

The CCU defense held ASU to only five field goals in the second half and 23 percent shooting while CCU made their run. The problem was the host did not miss at the free throw line. They came into the game shooting 67 percent as a team, but hit 25 of their 34 for 74 percent, which turned out to be the difference in the game.

The Mountaineers (9-20, 4-14 Sun Belt) also out rebounded CCU 50-35, the 15 rebound difference is the largest rebounding difference on the season.

Next up for the Chanticleers will be their first Sun Belt Conference Tournament which begins next week in New Orleans. Eight-seeded CCU will play South Alabama (14-17, 7-11 Sun Belt) who enters the tournament as the ninth seed.  The two teams will tip off the tournament on the opening day of action, Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.

Women

* For the second time this season, the Coastal Carolina women’s basketball team overcame a double-digit second-half deficit against Appalachian State, and defeated the Mountaineers, 56-53, Saturday afternoon at the Holmes Center.

App State led by as many 19 points early in third quarter, but the Chants outscored the Mountaineers 38-21 over the second half, including 16-7 in the fourth quarter. In Coastal’s previous victory over App State on Jan. 14, the Chants trailed by as many 12 points in the second half, and limited the Mountaineers to eight points in the fourth quarter.

The two sides will meet for the third time this season on Tuesday, as the Chants and Mountaineers open the 2017 Sun Belt Conference tournament in New Orleans’ Lakefront Arena with a first-round contest at 11:30 a.m. CT, as the league’s eight and nine seeds, respectively.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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