Coastal shocks Clemson, sellout crowd in blowout

One year after winning at Clemson on a last-second shot, Coastal Carolina’s men’s basketball team won the rematch in Conway going away. The Chanticleers outscored the Tigers 25-8 over the last 10 minutes to pull away for a convincing 69-46 victory before a sellout crowd of 3,286 at The HTC Center.

The Chants posted their third victory over an ACC team in program history and improved to 4-5 on the season. Anthony Raffa scored a game-high 25 points on 10 of 17 shooting from the field. Warren Gillis added 12 points, including three 3-pointers, and Kierre Greenwood chipped in 10 points and seven assists. Uros Ljeskovic had a team and career-high 10 rebounds.

Devin Booker scored 16 points and Jordan Roper added 12 for Clemson, which dropped to 6-4.

Coastal shot 46 percent from the field in the game and made a season-high nine 3-pointers on 23 attempts. The Chanticleers also forced 18 Clemson turnovers, scoring 20 points off of them, and limited the Tigers to just 32 percent shooting. In addition, Coastal won the battle of the boards 39-32.

The Chanticleers hit their first four shots to take a 10-2 lead just 2:20 into the game. Raffa made a fast-break layup and a 3-pointer from the wing and El Hadji Ndieguene converted a foul-line jumper to put the Chants ahead 7-0. After Clemson got on the board, Gillis made his first 3-pointer.

However, Coastal missed its next 11 shots and the Tigers got eight points from Booker inside in a 15-4 run to take the lead at 17-14.

The first half was one of runs, though, and the Chants answered with 13 straight points, while holding Clemson scoreless for more than eight and half minutes. Gillis made another 3-pointer and Coastal scored six points off of Tiger turnovers, including back-to-back layups in transition by Raffa. A short jumper in the lane by Greenwood made it 27-17 with 14 seconds left in the half.

A putback by Booker at the buzzer finally ended Clemson’s drought and cut the lead to eight at halftime. Prior to that basket, the Tigers had missed eight consecutive shots and committed six turnovers.

The teams traded baskets through the first seven minutes of the second half, with a 3-pointer by Coastal’s Badou Diagne making it 41-31 with 13:07 remaining. The Tigers trimmed the deficit back down to 44-38, but the rest of the game belonged to Coastal.

Michel Enanga and Diagne each hit 3-pointers to help push the lead to 55-40 with 5:20 left. After two Clemson free throws, the Chanticleers poured it on with 14 straight points over a span of 3:05. Raffa started the spurt with a 3-pointer, Ljeskovic converted back-to-back baskets inside, Greenwood made a jumper and Raffa added another fast-break layup and three free throws.

By the time the Tigers finally scored again, less than two minutes remained. The 46 points was their lowest offensive output of the season.

Coastal returns to action Saturday, Dec. 22 when it travels to College of Charleston for its final game before the holiday. Tipoff is set for 12 p.m.

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