Chants run past Blue Hose for rare victory on the road

For just the second time this season the Coastal Carolina men’s basketball team picked up a road victory as the Chants defeated host Presbyterian College 60-53 on Wednesday night.

Coastal was led by sophomore Warren Gillis who had 14 points while shooting 7-of-12 from the field. Senior Anthony Raffa had 13 points while hitting three 3-pointers while fellow senior Kierre Greenwood had 10 points including three 3-pointers as well. Greenwood dished out a pair of assists to move into second on the Coastal Carolina career assists list. He now has 461 career helpers and trails Robert Dowdell (1987-91) by 100 assists for first.

The Chants dominated the glass, outrebounding the Blue Hose 45-27. Freshman Badou Diagne had a team-high 11 rebounds in just 18 minutes of action. He added six points, a block and an assist. Senior El Hadji Ndieguene, who had a double-double in the first meeting with PC, had seven points and seven rebounds. Freshman Tristian Curtis played just 15 minutes in the game but was able to pull down seven boards and score four points while going 2-of-2 from the field.

Preseason all-conference selection Khalid Mutakabbir led the Blue Hose with 16 points and 10 rebounds while Ryan McTavish added 12 points.

The Chants shot 38.6 percent from the field including 44.4 percent from 3-point range. CCU continued to struggle from the free-throw line hitting just 8-of-16. PC shot 38.8 percent from the field including just 19.0 percent from 3-point range. The Blue Hose also struggled at the free-throw line hitting just 11-of-17.

Coastal  trailed just twice in the game both in the opening four minutes of play. With the game tied at 11 with over 13 minutes left in the first the Chants began a 13-4 run sparked by a pair of threes from Raffa. The Blue Hose responded an 11-2 run capped by a dunk from Mutakabbir to tie the game at 26 with 3:18 to play in the first. Both teams went cold the rest of the half but a tip-in by Curtis with 36 seconds left in the half gave CCU a 28-26 halftime lead.

The second period was tight the entire way but CCU never trailed. The Blue Hose were able to cut the lead to just one with a little over 13 minutes to play but a short 4-0 run by the Chants pushed the lead back to five. A Raffa three and a pair of Ndieguene free throws pushed the lead up to eight with 8:15 to play. The Blue Hose cut the lead to four, four different times down the stretch but they would not get any closer as the Chants held on for a 60-53 victory.

The Chants return to action this Saturday at 7 p.m. as they host Gardner-Webb who knocked off UNC Asheville 67-65 to tighten up the Big South Conference South Division race. Both CCU and GWU are just two games back of UNCA and Charleston Southern for first in the division with four conference games to play.

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