Chants use balanced attack for beatdown of Blue Devils

ccuhoops-13The Coastal Carolina University men’s basketball team used a dominating first half and a complete team effort to down the Blue Devils of Central Connecticut State University 86-67 on Friday night at The HTC Center.

Six Chanticleers reached double figures in scoring while two produced double-doubles. The win moves the Chants record to 7-7 heading into conference play while the Blue Devils drop to 4-9 on the season.

Freshman Elijah Wilson rebounded from his first career game in which he did not reach double figures, with a team-high 19 points and five rebounds. Sophomore Michel Enanga had 13 points and 10 rebounds marking his second double-double of the season. Sophomore Badou Diagne turned in a career-high 13 rebounds while scoring 10 points for his first double-double of the season.

Juniors Josh Cameron and Warren Gillis each had 13 points and five assists. Gillis added four rebounds and a steal while Cameron had three rebounds and a steal. Both were 3-3 from the free throw line while Gillis was 5-9 from the field and Cameron was 4-9 from the field including 2-5 from three. Sophomore Uros Ljeskovic turned in a career-high 12 points and seven rebounds. He hit his first five shots of the game before finishing 5-7 from the field with an assist and a steal.

The Chants shot 49.2 percent (30-61) from the field including 38.1 percent (8-21) from 3-point range. CCU also hit 72.0 percent (18-25) of its attempts from the free throw line. The Blue Devils were held to 43.8 percent (28-64) shooting from the field including 25.0 percent (5-20) from 3-point range. They struggled from the free throw line hitting just 46.2 percent (6-13) of their attempts.

CCU dominated the boards, outrebounding the Blue Devils 48-31.

The first half opened with both teams trading baskets but just three minutes in the Chants began a 13-0 run that was capped by back-to-back threes from Cameron and Wilson. The run gave the Chants a 13-point lead with 14:30 to play in the period. The Blue Devils were able to cut the lead to nine with 9:51 to play on a jumper by Juwan Newmen but that would be as close as they would get the rest of the game. The Chants built their lead up to 19 points thanks to a three from Diagne with 1:51 to play in the period. Neither team scored the rest of the half as the Chants took a 47-28 lead into the break.

The second half was a pretty even affair but the Chants held control of the game as both teams scored 39 points in the period. CCU’s lead ballooned to 23 points at the 12:20 mark as Wilson hit a driving layup to put the Chants up 65-42. The Blue Devils cut CCU’s lead down to 10 with 1:14 to play thanks to a 10-0 run but the Chants answered with a 9-0 run to close out the game, 86-67.

Coastal will return to action Wednesday, Jan. 8 at 7:30 p.m. as the Chants travel to Charleston Southern for their Big South Conference opener. The Buccaneers were picked as the preseason favorites in the BSC South Division and carry a 5-7 record in non-conference play.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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