Coastal’s CIT run comes to a close in loss to UC Irvine

ccuhoops-diangecitCoastal Carolina’s deepest postseason run came to an end with a 66-47 defeat to UC Irvine in the semifinal round of the 2016 CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament Sunday evening inside the HTC Center.

The loss ends the Chanticleers’ season with a 21-12 record, while UC Irvine (28-9) advances to play Columbia or NJIT for the CIT championship on Tuesday.

The game also marked the conclusion of the collegiate careers of Chanticleer seniors Badou Diagne, Tristian Curtis, Aaron Law and Marcus Freeman. The class won 80 total games, two Big South Tournament championships, a conference division title, appeared in two NCAA Tournaments and won the program’s first three postseason victories in the 2016 CIT.

Colton Ray-St Cyr led the Chanticleers offense with 16 points, including a career-high four 3-pointers. Diagne scored 11 points in his final game, while equally Curtis with a team-best five rebounds.

Luke Nelson paced the Anteaters with 15 points on six makes and Alex Young dropped in 11. Irvine’s Mamado Ndiaye nearly double-doubled with nine points and game-high nine rebounds.

Coastal closed the game shooting 27.4 percent from the floor (17-62) and 77.8 percent from the line (7-9). UC Irvine made 42.1 percent of its attempts (24-57). The Anteaters controlled the boards 47-36, but only outscored the Chants 24-22 in the paint.

Irvine opened the second half with six straight points in the paint, then countered two buckets inside and a three by the Chants with a trio of 3-pointers to establish a 47-32 lead with 15:26 to play.

Coastal got no closer than 11 the rest of the way as the Anteaters rolled to their 28th victory of the season.

UC Irvine led 15-10 midway through the first half before the Chanticleers a quick 8-2 run to take an 18-17 lead. Coastal’s next basket came by way of a reverse slam by Diagne off an alley-oop from Jaylen Shaw. UC Irvine regained the lead briefly with a pair of buckets until Ray-St Cyr gave the Chants a 23-21 edge with a 3-pointer at the 5:18 mark. However, Coastal’s lead would not last long as the Anteaters scored 12 of the game’s next 14 points to take a 33-25 lead at the half.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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