Second-half run sends CCU to win at Central Arkansas

ccuhoops-0stopCoastal Carolina used a 17-3 run from the under-16 media timeout to the 12:13 mark in the second half to distance itself from Central Arkansas en route to a 72-55 win in the Chanticleers’ non-conference finale Sunday at the Farris Center in Central Arkansas.

Coastal trailed the Bears 32-28 before putting together its game-clinching run. Badou Diagne, who finished with a season-high 17 points, ignited the Chanticleer scoring spree with a dunk.

Josh Cameron then connected on his only 3-pointer of the game and Elijah Wilson followed with five points on a jumper, layup and free throw, giving Coastal a 38-32 lead. UCA’s Mathieu Kamba slowed the Chants with a basket, but Warren Gillis answered immediately with a runner in the lane.

Following a Jake Zuilhof free throw, Wilson knocked down a three from the corner and Cameron capped the run with a mid-range jumper, giving the Chants a 10-point lead at 45-35 with 12:13 to play. UCA then trimmed Coastal’s lead down to six, but the Chants answered with a 13-point run that ended with a Tristian Curtis dunk and 58-39 lead.

Central Arkansas (0-10) would get no closer than 15 the rest of the way as the Chanticleers improved to 9-3 overall.

Gillis led all scorers with 18 points. In addition to his offensive acumen, Gillis also grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds, marking his second career double-double. Wilson also scored in double-figures for the Chants with 11 points, while Curtis was on the verge of a double-double of his own with a nine-point, nine-rebound effort.

Coastal, which shot 15-of-30 from the floor in the second half, closed the game shooting 41.7 percent (25-of-60). The Chants also held a 40-34 rebounding advantage and outscored the Bears 14-6 on second chance opportunities.

Central Arkansas, which used an 11-of-24 effort from the field to take a lead into the half, was just 9-of-30 in the second stanza. The Bears, who entered the contest averaging 8.2 three per game, were limited to 25 percent from beyond the arc.

With the game tied at 15 with 7:29 to play in the first half, Central Arkansas got hot over the ensuing three minutes and put together a 10-0 run, expanding its lead to a then-game-high 10 points. Gillis halted the Bears’ scoring streak with a one-handed floater in the lane for his fifth and sixth points of the half. Following a Bear turnover, Diagne converted at the rim then sank a pair at the free-throw line to cut CCU’s deficit to 25-21 with 2:25 remaining in the period.

A missed shot by Central Arkansas resulted in a Coastal run out with Shivaughn Wiggins finding Diagne at the top of the arc for his second 3-pointer of the game. Diagne then grabbed a defensive rebound on UCA’s next possession and Wiggins converted in the lane on the offensive end to complete Coastal’s 11-0 comeback run and give the Chants’ a 26-25 lead at the 1:13 mark.

UCA’s Joel Fiegler scored a short jumper with 44 seconds on the clock to send the teams into the half with Central Arkansas holding a slim 27-26 lead.

Coastal now breaks for the Christmas holiday before rounding out 2014 with its Big South Conference opener at High Point at 7 p.m. on Dec. 31.

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