Coastal tallies 14th straight home win over Longwood

ccuhoops-3For the 14th straight time the Coastal Carolina men’s basketball team walked out of The HTC Center victorious after defeating Longwood 76-70 on Thursday evening.

Coastal, which has not lost a home game since Feb. 5, 2014, improved to 12-3 with the victory and stayed unbeaten in Big South play at 3-0. Longwood dropped to 5-11 (1-2 Big South) with the loss.

For the second consecutive game, Coastal was led by four players in double-figures. Warren Gillis and Shivaughn Wiggins were the team’s high scorers with 15 points each, while Badou Diagne and Elijah Wilson each scored 13. Josh Cameron narrowly missed joining the quartet, finishing with nine points. In addition, Diagne also pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds to mark his second straight and fifth overall double-double of the campaign.

Longwood was paced by Lotanna Nwogbo’s 23 points, which included 18 in the paint, and 10 rebounds. Quincy Taylor and Leron Fisher also reach double-figures for the Lancers, scoring 14 and 12 points, respectively.

Down 34-26 to start the second half, Longwood used a 15-10 run, aided by a trio of 3-pointers by Ryan Badowski and Darrion Allen, to cut the Chants lead to 44-41 with 15:07 to play. Coastal immediately responded with an 11-5 scoring streak to re-establish a double-figure lead at 57-46. Diagne scored five during the run, including his first of two 3-pointers.

The Lancers scored 14 of the next 25 points, including eight by Nwogbo, to trim Coastal’s lead to six at 68-62 at the game’s final official timeout. The teams exchanged missed shots and turnovers during their next two possessions before Wiggins put Coastal back up eight with a pair of free throws with 1:06 to play after Longwood fouled the Chants into the bonus.

LU’s Fisher answered with a 3-pointer on the Lancer’s following possession. Gillis then connected on a floater off the glass to give CCU a 72-65 lead with 32.2 showing on the clock. However, Longwood would not go away quietly as Taylor’s 3-point play and a put-back by Nwogbo bookended a missed Coastal free throw, cutting CCU’s lead to 72-70 with 13 seconds to play. Longwood then attempted to extend the game at the foul line, but Wiggins sank each of his final four attempts to provide the 76-70 final.

Coastal used a balanced scoring effort to take a 34-26 lead into the intermission as eight Chanticleers registered points. Coastal led 18-16 before going on a 9-0 run, highlighted by Colton Ray-St Cyr’s sixth 3-pointer of the season, to put distance between itself and the visiting Lancers. The Chants were not truly threated throughout the remainder of the half, despite Longwood closing the period on a 13-9 run.

Coastal finished the night hitting on 25-of-54 shot attempts for a 46.3 field goal percentage, while Longwood went 26-of-49 (53.1 percent). The Chanticleers outrebounded Longwood 33-26, but the Lancers closed with a 34-24 advantage in points in the paint. Coastal also won the turnover battle 11-8, scoring 14 points off the LU turnovers.

Coastal returns to the road for a pair of games. Up first is a trip to rival Liberty for a 7:00 p.m. tipoff on Saturday followed by an 8:00 p.m. tip at Campbell on Monday. The Liberty game can be viewed on the Liberty Flames Sports Network in the Lynchburg, Va., area and nationwide via WatchESPN.com, while the Campbell game will be carried live on the American Sports Network in Virginia and the Carolinas.

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