Chants fall to Ragin’ Cajuns; trip to Clemson on horizon

ccuhoops-ellisCoastal Carolina fell to Louisiana 73-69 in the final of the EA Sports Maui on the Mainland Invitational Sunday afternoon. Elijah Wilson’s 22 points were not enough as the Ragin’ Cajuns took advantage of CCU’s low shooting percentage to pull off a four-point victory.

The Chants shot just 36.2 percent (25-69) from the floor including 28.6 percent (4-14) from 3-point range. The troubles did not end there as CCU struggled from the free throw line hitting just 57.7 percent (15-26) of its attempts. The Ragin’ Cajuns hit 51.0 percent (26-51) of their attempts from the field including 46.2 percent (12-26) from 3-point range. Louisiana struggled from the free throw line knocking down just 52.9 percent (9-17) of its attempts.

CCU out-rebounded Louisiana 45-36 and forced the Ragin’ Cajuns into 23 turnovers. CCU converted those 23 mishaps into 24 points on the other end and also out-scored Louisiana in the paint 32-24.

Wilson hit 9-of-13 shots from the field including 2-of-3 from 3-point range. Senior Warren Gillis added 14 points, a team-high six steals, five rebounds and three assists while sophomore Michel Enanga controlled the boards with 13 rebounds and seven points. Junior Josh Cameron had eight points and a team-high four assists.

Louisiana was led by Xavian Rimmer who had 21 points and seven rebounds while Shawn Long added 18 points and seven boards.

CCU opened the game on a 10-2 run including four points from Wilson and three from Enanga. The Chants would lead almost the entire first half but a 19-4 run by the Ragin’ Cajuns to close the half gave Louisiana a 31-24 lead at the break.

The second-half was almost entirely controlled by Louisiana but with 3:45 left in the game the Chants began an 8-1 run to cut the Ragin’ Cajuns lead to four with 44 seconds remaining. Wilson scored four of the Chants’ eight points in the run.

The Chants had a number of chances to cut into the lead thanks to offensive rebounds and turnovers but none of the shots fell and a pair of free throws by Louisiana with 12 seconds left gave UL a 71-66 lead. Cameron hit a three with five seconds left to cut the lead to three but that would be as close as CCU would get as a free throw late gave Louisiana its final margin of victory, 73-69.

Coastal returns to action this Friday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. as the Chants travel to Clemson. The game will be carried on ESPN3. CCU has won two-straight over the Tigers.

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