Youthful Chants get zapped by Zips in season opener

ccuhoops-22The Coastal Carolina men’s basketball team opened the 2013-14 season with a disappointing 72-63 loss at Akron.

The Chants (0-1) fell behind by 20-plus points in both the first and second halves but fought back on both occasions to cut the deficit to single digits. The were unable to slow down the Zips (1-0), who aveneged last year’s season-opening loss at the new HTC Center.

Coastal freshman Elijah Wilson made his college debut with a game-high 15-point performance while hitting four-of-five from the free throw line.

The Zips used a tenacious full court press the entire game that cause a number of issues for CCU’s inexperienced back court. The Chants combined for 20 turnovers that led to 21 Akron points. The Chants defense stood strong forcing 17 Akron turnovers which turned into 15 points for the Chants.

The Zips edged the Chants on the boards 38-37 and used 14 offensive rebounds to convert 17 second-chance points.

Junior Warren Gills scored 11 points while graduate-transfer Eric Smith and junior college-transfer each added nine. Smith led the Chants with three assists and a pair of steals. Senior El Hadji Ndieguene picked up a team-high seven rebounds while scoring three points, Sophomore Tristian Curtis came off the bench to secure five rebounds and four points.

Coastal will return to action this Monday at 7 p.m. for their home opener against Guilford College.

 

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