Chants drop season debut against Wolfpack in Hawaii

ccuhoops-22The Coastal Carolina men’s basketball team fell 73-56 to Nevada on Friday evening as the Chanticleers opened the 2015-16 season at the Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic in Hawaii’s Stan Sheriff Center.

Coastal begins its season 0-1 and suffered just its second season opening loss since 2009-10. The other was a 72-63 defeat at Akron to start the 2013-14 season.

The Chants led the Wolf Pack at the break after a low-scoring first half that saw Coastal up 23-21. Nevada, however, rallied behind the 14 second-half points of Marqueze Colman, who had been held scoreless in the first.

Badou Diagne finished as Coastal’s leading scorer with 15 points, 13 of which came in the second half. The senior forward went 4-5 from the field while hitting a trio of 3-pointers and making four free throws.

Marcus Freeman pulled in a game-high 13 rebounds and added 10 points for his fourth career double-double, and first since last February at Radford.

Jaylen Shaw was the third Chanticleer to finish in double figures, scoring 13 in his Coastal debut. The redshirt sophomore led Coastal with seven points in the first half, and finished the game going 4-14 from the field, hitting one 3-pointer and adding four free throws.

Shaw’s three came as the horn sounded to end the first half and gave Coastal its two-point lead at the break. Each team shot below 30 percent from the field in the first, with Nevada improving its shooting to 53.1 percent in the second.

For the game, Nevada outshot the Chants 40.0-30.0 and took advantage of Coastal’s 17 turnovers. Coastal also missed several opportunities from the free throw line, finishing 16-28 (57.1 percent) from the charity stripe.

Diagne opened the second half making all three of his 3-pointers to put Coastal ahead 34-25. Nevada’s D.J. Fenner countered with a pair of his own 3-pointers to cut the deficit, and finished as the Wolf Pack’s leading scorer with 16 points.

The Chants were called for just four fouls in the first half, awarding Nevada just one trip to the free throw line. In the second half, however, Coastal was whistled 18 times, allowing Nevada to earn 15 of its 52 second-half points from the line. Diagne and Michel Enanga also fouled out in the second.

Lindsay Drew tied the game for Nevada at 35-35 with 15:44 to go in the second, rolling in a layup for two of his four points on the night. The Wolf Pack went ahead for good less than a minute later when Coleman hit a pair of free throws.

The Chanticleers return to the court and wrap up their trip to the Rainbow Classic on Sunday when they face the host university, Hawaii. Tip is set for 5 p.m. local time at the Stan Sheriff Center.

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