Coastal’s Cameron, Wilson lead victory over Bulldogs

Enanga_Michel3vsWinthropJunior Josh Cameron and freshman Elijah Wilson combined for 48 of Coastal Carolina’s 81 points as the Chants took down UNC Asheville 81-78 Wednesday night inside The HTC Center.

Cameron scored a career-high 29 points as he knocked down five triples and ended the night 10-18 from the field including 5-6 from downtown. Wilson added 19 points including 13 in the second half as he was 8-17 from the field including 3-6 from three-point range.

Overall the Chants shot the ball well hitting 50.0 percent (31-62) of their attempts for the game including 58.6 percent (10-17) from three. The Bulldogs shot just 36.1 percent (26-72) from the field and 37.0 percent (10-27) from three.

The win moves CCU’s record to 9-8 on the year and 2-1 in Big south Conference action. The Bulldogs fall to 8-9 on the year and 2-1 in conference play. CCU, UNCA, Winthrop and Charleston Southern are all tied atop the Big South Conference South Division standings with 2-1 records. CCU will have another chance to improve their standing this Saturday as the Winthrop Eagles come to The HTC Center for a 7 pm game.

Junior Warren Gillis chipped in 14 points and six rebounds as he hit 5-9 shots and was 2-3 from three. Sophomore Uros Ljeskovic continued his strong play of late as he scored 10 points on 5-7 shooting and grabbed a pair of boards. Sophomore Michel Enanga led the Chants in rebounding with 13 boards while scoring seven points.

David Robertson led a quintet of double-digit scorers for UNCA with 18 points. Senior D.J. Cunningham turned in a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

UNCA won the rebounding battle 45-38 and picked up 25 offensive boards which led to a 28-10 advantage in second chance points. CCU controlled the paint despite the rebounding battle outscoring the Bulldogs 34-22 down low.

UNCA held a slim lead most of the opening half but a 6-0 run by the Bulldogs with under 10 minutes to play in the opening period gave them their biggest lead of the contest at 27-20. CCU answered with a 10-3 run of its own that was sparked by back-to-back threes from Cameron. With the game tied at 30 and under five minutes to play the Chants and Bulldogs traded possessions until a 6-0 run ended the half for the Bulldogs and gave them a 40-36 advantage at the break.

Cameron opened the second half with a 5-0 run of his own to give CCU the lead at 41-40. A jumper from Cunningham ended CCU’s run and gave the lead back to the Bulldogs. Gillis and Cameron answered with another 5-0 run which gave the Chants its largest lead up until that point at 46-42. After a few back and forth possessions both teams went scoreless for nearly three minutes until a 3-pointer from Wilson ended the drought and gave CCU a 51-45 lead. The Chants would maintain their single-digit lead for another five minutes but a 9-0 run sparked by a steal and a one-handed slam by Wilson gave CCU its largest lead of the contest at 69-55.

CCU hung on to its double-digit advantage for another four minutes but the Bulldogs began to chip away. With CCU up 73-61 with 3:19 to play the Bulldogs began an 11-2 run that cut CCU’s lead to just three with 32 seconds left on the clock. After a pair of Gillis free throws, freshman Andrew Rowsey of UNCA hit a three to cut the lead to just two with 21 seconds left. Cameron then hit a pair of free throws to put the Chants up four and the Bulldogs came up empty on their next possession. Senior El Hadji Ndieguene hit a pair of free throws for the Chants to put CCU up six before a last second three by Robertson made the final score 81-78.

The Chants will return to action this Saturday, Jan. 18 at 7 pm as they host the Winthrop Eagles in another Big South Conference contest.

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