Wiggins hits career-high 30 to propel Chants past G-W

ccuhoops-Shivaughn Wiggins vs Gardner-WebbShivaughn Wiggins scored a career-high 30 points, but Coastal Carolina still had to count on free throws down the stretch to outlast Gardner-Webb 78-71 in a Saturday matinee inside the HTC Center.

Wiggins, who accounted for half of Coastal’s 30 first period points, became the first Chanticleer to reach the 30-point plateau since Anthony Raffa poured in 34 against FIU on Nov. 24, 2012. Wiggins shot an outstanding 11-of-13 from the field, including a career-high five 3-pointers. He also totaled five rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Joining Wiggins in double-figures was Elijah Wilson with 15 and Badou Diagne with 11. Tristian Curtis nearly double-doubled with eight points and a game-high 13 rebounds.

Coastal (16-9, 10-5 Big South) overcame its early 2-of-14 shooting performance to finish the game making 44.8 percent (26-of-58) shots. The Chanticleers dominated inside, finishing with a 44-36 rebounding edge and a 30-18 advantage in points in the paint.

Gardner-Webb (13-14, 8-7 Big South) was led by Tyrell Nelson’s 14 points, while Adonis Burbage (13), Harold McBride (12) and Dylan Poston (11) also reached double-figures. The Runnin’ Bulldogs shot 37.7 percent from the field (23-61) and 36.0 percent (9-25) from three.

Coastal exploded out of the intermission with Curtis and Diagne scoring buckets inside and Wilson knocking down a left wing 3-pointer to quickly overcome a three-point halftime deficit and take a 37-33 lead. Coastal added eight more points to take a 45-36 lead and seize control of the contest.

The Chants expanded their lead to 12 at 66-54 on Wiggins’ final make of the game at the 6:25 mark. Gardner-Webb then poured in 15 of the game’s next 21 points to cut CCU’s lead to a single possession at 72-69 with 2:33 to play. However, the Chants kept the Runnin’ Bulldogs at bay the remainder of the game by making six free throws in the final minute.

Coastal led 7-2 in the early going, but went cold from the field over the next seven minutes as Gardner-Webb built a 13-7 lead. Wiggins knocked down a three at the 10:55 mark to snap the Chants’ scoreless streak and then another on CCU’s next possession to cut Gardner-Webb’s lead to 15-13.

Gardner-Webb took a 31-22 lead on a Burbage make with 3:37 to play before the half. Coastal responded with a 8-0 run to cut the visitors’ lead to 31-30, but GWU’s McBride hit a jumper at the buzzer to send the Runnin’ Bulldogs into the half leading 33-30.

Coastal Carolina plays its final scheduled game against Winthrop as a member of the Big South Conference on Thurs., Feb. 18. The two rivals are set for a 7 p.m. tipoff at Winthrop Coliseum.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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