CCU cruises past Spalding, gets ready to face Clemson

It wasn’t as close or exciting as the last game, but Coastal Carolina avoided a letdown and improved to 4-0 on the season Friday night with an 87-43 blowout victory over Spalding at Kimbel Arena.

Coming off Tuesday’s upset victory over LSU at home, the Chanticleers were on guard against a hangover game against the Division III Golden Eagles. Instead, Coastal stormed out to an early lead and never looked back to close out a perfect four-game home stretch to open the season.

Coastal shot 68 percent from the floor, just 2 percentage points shy of the school record. Chris Gradnigo led the Chants with 17 points and seven rebounds, Anthony Raffa tallied 13 points, and Sam McLaurin just missed out on his second straight double-double with 12 points and nine boards.

Coastal grabbed a huge rebounding advantage for the second consecutive game, pulling down 43 boards to only 22 for Spalding. The Chants outrebounded a bigger LSU squad by a 42-33 margin on Tuesday.

Coastal’s schedule takes a turn for the more difficult, beginning with Tuesday’s game at Clemson. CCU coach Cliff Ellis will be returning to Clemson for the first time since he led the Tigers to NCAA Tournament appearances in the early 1990s.

“It will be a different experience because I’ve been used to being on the other sideline,” Ellis said. “I’ve got some fond memories from that school. … I still root for them but this will be the only time I haven’t pulled for Clemson. I’m a Chanticleer now and that’s how it is.”

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

 

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