Shorthanded Chants falter, face Cowboys for CBI title

NCAA Men's Basketball: College Basketball Invitational - CBI - Championship Game 2 - Wyoming Cowboys vs Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.Coastal Carolina picked a bad time to have a bad night shooting the basketball in an 81-57 loss at Wyoming in the second game of the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) Championship Series.

Elijah Wilson and Artur Labinowicz were the only two Chanticleers to reach double digits, scoring 10 points each, as CCU (20-18) only shot 32 percent from the field.  They only hit five of 24 from beyond the three point line and only hit nine of its 15 free throws.

CCU not only missed the scoring and rebounding of injured senior Colton Ray-St Cyr, they also did not get but four points from leading scorer Jaylen Shaw.  Demario Beck, who was averaging over 17 points and nine rebounds per game during the CBI Tournament, tried to play despite being hobbled some.  He only scored six points and had seven rebounds.

The Chanticleers only turned the ball over eight times in the game and forced Wyoming into 15 turnovers which they were able to turn into 14 points.  CCU also was able to outscore Wyoming 22-20 in the paint.

CCU played 10 players as they were trying to stay fresh, make up for the loss of Colton Ray-St Cyr and to give some extra breaks since the Auditorium Arena at Wyoming is the highest elevated arena in the nation at 7,220 feet above sea level.

On the other hand, the home-standing Cowboys (22-15) shot 48 percent from the field and hit 12 of their 29 three point field goals for 41 percent.  They did not disappoint the home crowd at the free throw line either where they connected on 19 of its 24 attempts for 79 percent.

Justin James scored 21 points to lead the home team’s offensive efforts and Alexander Aka Gorski came off the bench to score 17.  He hit five-of-seven of his three point field goals.

Wyoming also out rebounded CCU 44-31 with Aland Herndon leading the way with a game-high 10.  All 11 players the Cowboys used in the game scored in a well-balanced offensive game.

With the series now tied, the two teams will play one more time for the CBI Title Friday at 7 p.m.  The game will once again be played at Wyoming and will also be played before a national television audience on ESPNU.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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