Chants topple Highlanders for first Big South victory

uhoopCoastal Carolina used a 27-13 run through the middle stages of the second half to build a double-digit lead on Radford then hung on at the end to defeat the Highlanders 63-58 in Big South Conference men’s basketball action Sunday afternoon at the HTC Center.

Coastal, which evened its record at 4-4 (1-1 Big South) with the win, was co-led by Jaylen Shaw and Marcus Freeman’s 12 points each off the bench. Also in double-figures for the Chants were Badou Diagne and Colton Ray-St Cyr with 10 points apiece. Freeman and Diagne shared the rebounding lead with eight each.

Radford (5-4, 1-1 Big South) was paced by Cameron Jones’ 21 points on six made shots, including five 3-pointers, and four free throws. Taj Owens finished with 10, while Jones and Brandon Holcomb co-led the Highlanders with eight rebounds.

Radford quickly erased its 28-23 halftime deficit as Jones connected for his fourth and fifth 3-pointers of the game on the Highlanders’ first two second-half possessions. However, the Highlanders would make only two of their next 13 shots as Coastal regained the lead and built a 44-34 advantage with just over 11 minutes to play.

Shaw pushed Coastal’s lead to a game-high 13 points with a dunk at the 7:26 mark. Radford would battle back with a 16-6 run to cut the Chanticleer lead to 61-58 with less than a minute to play. Each team would turn the ball over one more time before Shivaughn Wiggins iced the game at the free-throw line with his fourth and fifth points of the game.

The first half payed a bit on the sloppy side as the teams combined to make only 18 of 58 shots. Radford made seven shots in the half, including five from 3-point range to tally its 23 points, while the Chants made 11 buckets for its 28. RU’s Jones had the hot hand in the half, making three 3-pointer and four free throws to enter the locker room with a game-high 13 points.  Coastal’s scoring was more evenly distributed as seven of the nine payers that saw the court recorded points.

Coastal closed the game making 25-of-62 shots for a 40.3 shooting percentage, while Radford made 21-of-60 shots (35.0 percent). Radford won the rebounding battle 40-38, but Coastal outscored the Highlanders 34-20 in the paint.

The Chanticleers conclude their three-game homestand on Wednesday, Dec. 9 as hosts to NC Wesleyan. The game, which is the second of a doubleheader with the women’s team, is slated for a 6:30 p.m. start.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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