Young Chants can’t spring the trap on Golden Gophers

ccuhoops-12minnFreshmen Elijah Wilson and Colton Ray-St Cyr combined for 40 of Coastal Carolina’s 72 points as the Chanticleers fell to the University of Minnesota, 82-72 in the opening round of the EA Sports Maui Invitational.

Wilson led all scorers with 25 points while Ray-St Cyr chipped in 15 points and a team-high six assists. Wilson was on fire throughout the game as he hit 10-of-14 shots from the field including 5-of-7 from 3-point range. Ray-St Cyr never missed as he finished the game 6-of-6 from the field and 3-of-3 from 3-point range.

Senior El Hadji Ndieguene added 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds as he hit 4-of-6 attempts from the field and knocked down a pair of free throws.

The Chants fell to 1-3 on the season while the Gophers improved to a perfect 4-0. As a team the Chants shot 51.9 percent (28-54) from the field and 45.0 percent (9-20) from 3-point range.

The difference in the game came down to turnovers as the Chants gave the ball back to Minnesota 20 times which led to 31 points for the Golden Gophers. The Chants were able to force Minnesota into 10 turnovers which led to 10 points but it was not enough to overcome the 31 on the other end.

Minnesota also had a huge advantage at the free throw line where the Golden Gophers hit 20-of-24 attempts while the Chnats made just eight trips to the charity stripe and knocked down seven.

Both teams finished with 33 rebounds while Minnesota out-blocked the Chants 4-3.

Minnesota opened the game with a three but the Chants responded with four quick points to take their only lead of the game at 4-3. The Gophers and Chants battled the entire first half with Minnesota taking its largest lead of the period at 7:02 at 27-19. CCU answered with a three from Ray-St Cyr and a jumper from Ndieguene to cut the lead to three. A Gillis jumper a few minutes later cut the lead to one but that would be as close as the Chants would get as the Gophers closed out the half with a 39-33 lead.

The Chants cut the Gophers lead to one in the second half but once again CCU was unable to break through. An 11-2 run by the Gophers midway through the second period opened up an 11-point lead for Minnesota. The lead would eventually bloom to 13 but the Chants would not go away as the Gophers held on for a 82-72 victory.

Coastal will return to action this Saturday and Sunday as the Chants host the EA Sports Maui on the Mainland Tournament. The Chants will open up the action on Saturday at 4 p.m. as they host St. Francis Brooklyn. Louisiana Lafayette and Oakland will take to the floor at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Photo courtesy UM Athletics

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