CCU seniors lead way over Lancers in Big South debut

The Coastal Carolina men’s basketball team picked up its first road win and conference win of the season Saturday afternoon inside Willett Hall in Farmville, Va.

The Chanticleers downed first–year Big South member Longwood 80-72 in a closely fought affair. Seniors Anthony Raffa and Kierre Greenwood along with sophomore Warren Gillis led the Chants with 26, 19 and 21 points, respectively.

The Chanticleers improved their record to 6-6 and 1-0 in Big South action. The Lancers fell to 3-12 on the season and 0-1 in Big South play.

Raffa paced the Chants offense hitting 10-fo-14 shots from the field including a perfect 1-for-1 from 3-point range despite not scoring till the 6:54 mark of the first half. He was also 5-of-6 from the free throw line with five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Gillis had a career-high 21 points while hitting 10-of-16 from the field including 1-of-3 from 3-point range. He also chipped in six rebounds and a pair of steals. Greenwood came up just one point shy of 1,000 for his career with his 19 in the game. He was 5-for-10 from the field and a near perfect 8-of-9 from the free throw line. He dished out a team-high six assists as well.

Junior El Hadji Ndieguene led the team on the boards with 12 rebounds while scoring five points.

The Lancers were led by Nik Brown with 19 points while Michael Kessens had 12 points and 10 rebounds.

The Chants shot 52.7 percent from the field and 66.7 percent from 3-point range. Coastal hit 18-of-24 from the charity stripe as well. Longwood shot 49.2 percent from the field and just 28.6 percent from 3-point range. The Lancers also struggled from the free-throw line shooting just 53.3 percent.

The Chants opened the game on a 10-2 run thanks in part to a technical foul on the Lancers during warm-ups for dunking. The Chants held the lead the entire first half with their largest margin coming at the 9:19 mark (25-15). Up by just one with 3:04 to play in the first, Coastal closed out the half with a 9-3 run including a near halfcourt 3-pointer by Raffa as time expired.

Coastal held its lead for the opening seven minutes of the first half but a 9-0 run by the Lancers gave Longwood a 56-54 lead with 12:19 left in the game. After a couple of traded baskets both teams went scoreless for 2:40 until a LU layup gave Longwood a 60-58 lead with 7:25 to play. A 10-2 run by the Chants retook the lead and gave Coastal a six-point advantage with just 3:42 to play.

The Lancers cut the lead to just two but a clutch 3-pointer by Gillis moved the advantage back to five. Once again the Lancers cut the lead to two and Gillis answered with a jumper to push the lead to four with 1:19 to play. After Longwood cut the lead to two for a third time the Chants began a 7-1 run to close out the game, 80-72.

The Chants return to action this Wednesday at 7 p.m. as they host Presbyterian College in Big South Conference action.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

 

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