Chants blow chance at title, await fate for BSC tourney

ccuhoops-21blockDespite cutting as much as an 18-point deficit to five twice during the final four minutes of play, Coastal Carolina could not find enough baskets to overcome Presbyterian College as the Blue Hose held on for an 80-69 victory.

The Chanticleers conclude the regular season with a 21-9 overall record and 12-6 mark in Big South play. Depending on Saturday’s results, Coastal can receive as high as the second overall seed in next week’s VisitMyrtleBeach.com Big South Basketball Championship.

Presbyterian’s victory marked the 400th in Greg Nibert’s collegiate career and moved the Blue Hose to 10-20 overall and 6-11 in league contests.

Coastal was led by Warren Gillis’ 18 points as three Chants totaled double-figures. Josh Cameron registered 16 tallies, while Badou Diagne finished with 10. The Chanticleers struggled from the field throughout the night, ending the game with a 38.8 shooting percentage (26-of-67).

Markus Terry paced the Blue Hose and all scorers with 19 points. Jordan Downing notched an 18-point, 10-rebound double-double, while DeSean Murray and William Truss each scored in double-digits with 16 and 14 points, respectively. PC finished the night making 53.1 percent of its shots (26-of-49).

Presbyterian expanded on its 34-23 halftime lead with a 12-7 run to open the second half. Coastal cut the Blue Hose lead to single digits once, but Will Adams answered with a 3-pointer to restore the double-digit lead. The Blue Hose went on to build as much as an 18-point lead at 48-30 with Murray capping PC’s run on a layup at the 14:40 mark.

The Chants would not go away quietly as they cut the PC lead to 48-40 with a 10-0 run, including five points by Cameron, over the next three minutes. However, PC’s Terry scored eight points as part of a Blue Hose 14-6 run, putting the home team up 62-46 with 6:10 to play.

Coastal’s Diagne then ignited a final Chanticleer surge with a 3-point play and Gillis cut the PC lead to five points at 68-63 at the 3:09 mark with his second of two straight baskets in the paint. PC countered with two Davon Bell free throws, but Gillis immediately answered with another bucket to again close the PC advantage to five.

Coastal then started fouling in an attempt to extend the game, but the tactic would not pay off as the Blue Hose scored 10 of its final 12 points at the free-throw line to secure the 80-69 victory.

Coastal made five of its first nine shots and staked an 18-14 lead over the opening 10 minutes of the contest. However, the Chants would go ice cold over the remainder of the period, making just two of its final 15 attempts. The Blue Hose took full advantage of the Chants’ inability to make shots, compiling a 20-5 run to end the half en route to a 34-23 halftime lead. PC’s half-ending run seven points by Murray and five by Downing.

Coastal now turns its attention to the defense of its VisitMyrtleBeach.com Big South Championship. The Chanticleer have clinched a first round bye in the tournament and will learn their seeding along with potential opponents after the conclusion of Saturday’s games.

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