Coastal rips rival Winthrop, places Ellis in 700-win club

ccuhoops-cliffellis700Coastal Carolina head coach Cliff Ellis earned his 700th career win on a NCAA Division I sideline as the Chanticleers completely dominated rival Winthrop in an 82-63 win Saturday afternoon inside the HTC Center.

Ellis notched his 166th win as a Chanticleer to mark his 700th in a career that has spanned five decades. Ellis, who has led 10 teams to the NCAA Tournament, won 171 games at South Alabama, 177 at Clemson and 186 at Auburn.

Elijah Wilson and Badou Diagne set the tone early for the Chanticleers (8-6, 2-2 Big South) and the duo went on to combine for 32 of CCU’s 82 points. Wilson scored a team-high 17, while Diagne poured in 15. Jaylen Shaw added 10 for the Chants and Tristian Curtis nearly double-doubled with nine points and nine rebounds.

The Eagles (9-5, 2-2 Big South) were led by Jimmy Gavin’s game-high 19 points. Xavier Cooks scored 12 and Keon Johnson, who entered the contest averaging 21.3 points per game, was limited to only 10 points on 11 shots.

Coastal and Winthrop exchanged the first 26 points of the game as each registered 13 at the 11:37 mark of the first half. But the score wouldn’t stay that way for long and the Eagles would not be able to keep up with the Chants. Coastal scored 11 of the game’s next 17 points, taking a 24-19 lead at the 5:55 mark.

Diagne then took over the game for the next 1:30, scoring seven points and a pair of emphatic dunks and a 3-pointer to extend Coastal’s lead to 29-19. Moments later, the senior converted a 3-point play, pushing the Chanticleer lead to 16. A Kevin Holmes Jr. 3-pointer and two free throws by Shivaughn Wiggins countered a layup and a free throw by Winthrop’s Johnson to close the opening half’s scoring and send the teams into the dressing rooms with Coastal leading 41-27.

Coastal hosts rival Liberty on Wed., Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. Last season the Chants handed the Flames a league-record 40-point loss in Conway.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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