Coastal’s balanced scoring attack rolls to easy victory

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-2nd Round-Virginia vs Coastal CarolinaWarren Gillis and Elijah Wilson each scored 12 points and Josh Cameron chipped in 11 as the Coastal Carolina men’s basketball team cruised to a 76-33 victory over Piedmont International Saturday evening at The HTC Center.

Gillis finished 4-of-7 from the floor, with two 3-pointers, and 2-of-2 from the free-throw line to extend his double-digit scoring streak to 26 straight games. Wilson was 4-of-11 overall, including 3-of-6 from 3-point land for his 12 points as Coastal moved to 3-1 on the young season. Cameron was 2-of-4 from the field, including a three and 6-of-8 at the line for his 11 points.

Badou Diagne led Coastal on the glass with nine, while Marcus Freeman grabbed eight boards.

Coastal’s shots struggled to fall during the opening minutes of play, allowing Piedmont International to keep the score close. With Coastal up 12-8, Piedmont’s Kaylin Byrd converted a layup to cut the Chants’ lead to 12-10. However, the Bruins would get no closer as the Chants used their length to smother PIU on the defensive end and hold the Bruins without a point for the ensuing 8:32. During PIU’s drought the Chanticleers went on a 16-0 run, highlighted by a pair of threes from the wing by Wilson, to take a commanding 18-point lead at 28-10.

Cameron finished a tip-in, while Diagne and Shivaughn Wiggins combined for three points at the free-throw line during the final two minutes of play, giving Coastal a 33-15 lead at the half.

Coastal extended its 18-point half time lead with a 22-10 run during the opening 10 minutes of the second half to make the score 55-25. Cameron was responsible for eight of the points, including the last five as he made a trio at the free-throw line and capitalized on a steal a mid-court for a fast-break layup.

Continuing to pull away, CCU later got a 3-pointer from Gillis and two scores in the paint by Uros Ljeskovic as part of a 13-4 run that made it 69-30 just past the five minute mark of the half and the Chants cruised the rest of the way.

Coastal finished the night hitting on 22-of-52 attempts for a 42.3 field goal percentage, while Piedmont International was just 12-of-48 (25.0 percent). The Chanticleers also dominated the paint, especially in the second half, holding a commanding 53-22 advantage on the glass and outscoring the Bruins 28-8 in the paint.

Coastal returns to action this coming week at the Chattanooga-hosted Battle 4 Atlantis Mainland Bracket. The Chants play Louisiana-Monroe Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. and will face either Robert Morris or Chattanooga on Thanksgiving Day.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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