Cold start costly for Coastal as Catamounts capture win

Brandon Boggs scored a team-high 26 points off the bench for the Catamounts of Western Carolina as WCU downed Coastal Carolina University 80-70 in the annual Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters event.

Coastal got off to a slow start as the Chants turned the ball over eight times in the opening eight minutes of action.

Coastal ended the game with 15 turnovers which led to 16 WCU points. The Chants were also outrebounded for just the sixth time this season, 39-37.

The Chants record falls to 13-13 on the year while the Catamounts improve to 12-17.

CCU was led by seniors Kierre Greenwood and Anthony Raffa who combined for 39 of CCU’s 70 points. Greenwood had 20 points while going 7-of-8 from the free-throw line. Raffa scored 19 and was 8-of-10 from the charity stripe. Freshman Badou Diagne gave the Chants a shot in the second half as he buried three-straight 3-pointers and ended with 13 points and seven rebounds. He was 3-of-3 from 3-point range.

Freshman Tristian Curtis led the team on the boards grabbing a game-high eight rebounds. Freshman Michel Enanga added seven rebounds, five points and four steals.

The Chants trailed by one or two points over the opening eight minutes but a 3-pointer by Raffa with 14:59 left in the first gave CCU its only lead of the game, 10-9. Up 14-12 with 12:27 left in the first the Catamounts got a big boost from James Sinclair who nailed back-to-back 3-pointers to push the lead to eight. Sinclair ended the game with 17 points.

CCU continued to struggled the rest of the first half as the Catamounts built their lead to as much as 20 points. A pair of Greenwood free throws and a Diagne layup in the final minute of the first half cut the WCU lead to 15 heading into the break, 36-21.

Down 46-27 with 16:33 remaining the Chants began an 11-1 run powered by five points from sophomore Warren Gillis. The Catamounts slowly built their lead back to 16 points but a 7-0 run cut the lead back to nine with 4:08 left in the game. The Chants were able to get the lead to just seven with under 30 seconds to play but that would be as close as they would come as WCU hit its free throws down the stretch. The Catamounts did not have a field goal over the final 6:51 of the game but connected on 16-of-21 free throws down the stretch.

Coastal returns to action Wednesday at 7 p.m. as the Chants host conference rival Winthrop. The Chants will honor their four seniors prior to the game.

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