Coastal men, women open season with doubleheader

ccuhoops-3The Coastal Carolina men’s and women’s basketball teams make their 2014-15 season debuts on Friday with back-to-back games at The HTC Center. The Chanticleer women tip against UNC Pembroke at 5 pm, followed by the men’s game against Trinity Baptist at 7:30 pm.

The Coastal Carolina men are 24-16 all-time in season openers with a 29-10 record in home openers dating back to the 1974-75 season. The Chanticleers have won four straight home openers and are 2-0 in home openers at The HTC Center, defeating Akron in 2013 and Guilford College in 2014.

The Chanticleers, coming off their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 21 seasons, welcome back several key contributors. Senior guard Warren Gillis averaged a career-high 14.7 points per game a year ago, but he also led the Chanticleers with 106 assists. The versatile guard earned second team All-Big South honors for his efforts during the regular season. He then went on to be named the Big South Tournament MVP as he averaged a blistering 17.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game en route to leading the Chanticleers to their first conference tournament title since 1993. This season Gillis was named to the conference’s preseason first team as the veteran prepares to lace up for his final season in a Chanticleer uniform.

Point guard Elijah Wilson turned in a phenomenal rookie campaign during the 2013-14 season. He led the Chants in scoring with 537 points while breaking Coastal Carolina Hall of Fame member Jack Leasure’s freshman scoring record by 117 points. He also broke the school’s freshman field goals made record which stood for 29 years with 200 made baskets.

The Coastal Carolina women are 22-18 all-time in season openers. Coastal is unbeaten in home openers at The HTC Center. The Chants lost their 2012-13 season opener at College of Charleston before winning their first home game against North Carolina Central.

The Lady Chants bring back three players who saw minutes last season, led by AJ Jordan, a 2013-14 first team all-conference selection. Jordan averaged 16.6 points, third in the Big South, and 7.0 rebounds, ninth in the Big South, to lead Coastal last season.

Karsen Sims was selected to the Big South All-Freshman team after averaging 7.9 points and 2.8 boards last year. She also ranked sixth in the Big South in both 3-point field goal percentage and 3-pointers made. Olivia Carlton started six games in last season, and played in 27. She averaged 1.5 points and 0.9 rebounds.

Coastal Carolina welcomes six newcomers to its 2014-15 roster, including Jas Adams, Dionne Parker, Alexis Robinson, Alira Mihocic, Anna Vogt and Nicole Isaacs.

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