Eagles battle past Coastal; Wilson sets rookie record

ccuhoops-gillisdribbleThe Coastal Carolina men’s basketball team led by five at halftime but a strong second half by the Eagles of Winthrop University gave WU its second victory over the Chants this season, 75-65.

In a closely called game that featured 49 fouls and 59 free throws, the Eagles went 19-22 from the free throw line in the second half to help seal the victory.

Junior Warren Gillis eclipsed his previous career-high in points with 15 while knocking down 14-15 from the charity stripe. Freshman Elijah Wilson cemented himself atop the CCU record books with 17 points. He now has 437 points this season which breaks Jack Leasure’s mark of 420 set during the 2004-05 season for points by a freshman.

The loss moves the Chants record to 16-11 on the season and 9-4 in Big South action. The Eagles improve to 15-11 overall and 8-5 in Big South play.

Coastal had a strong first half hitting 65.0 percent of its shots from the field but nine turnovers cost the Chants nine points on the other end which kept the score within reach. Coastal led 36-31 at the break and had just two players with two fouls.

The second half was a much different story as key Chants were in foul trouble almost immediately. Junior points guard Josh Cameron picked up three fouls in the first four minutes of the second half giving him four for the game. Sophomore forward Michel Enanga picked up two fouls in that same span to push his total to four as well while sophomore forward Badou Diagne picked up two fouls to move his total to three.

The Chants played the majority of the second half without Cameron’s services as he ended the night with just nine points. Enanga fouled out of the game at the 8:53 mark with four points and two rebounds while Diagne hung on with four fouls to lead the team in rebounding with seven boards.

The Eagles out rebounded the Chants 32-26 while picking up 13 offensive boards. The Eagles converted those 13 offensive rebounds into 15 second chance points.

Coastal shot just 31.6 percent in the second half while going 1-8 from 3-point range. Coastal finished the game going 3-14 from long range while the Eagles knocked down 7-22 from downtown. Both teams shot the ball well from the charity stripe as CCU ended the night going 24-32 from the stripe and Winthrop went 22-27.

With the loss the Chants now hold a one-game lead in the Big South Conference South Division with three games to play. UNC Asheville, Winthrop and Gardner-Webb are all tied in second at 8-5. Coastal will next head to UNC Asheville on Saturday for a 2 pm tip.

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