Wilson leads Chants past Guilford in home opener

ccuhoops-wilsonFreshman guard Elijah Wilson scored a game-high 16 points and senior center El Hadji Ndieguene came off the bench to score 10 points and grab eight rebounds as Coastal Carolina scored an easy, 76-49 win over visiting Guilford Monday at the HTC Center.

The Chanticleers were in control from the start in leveling their early-season record at 1-1. It was the season-opening game for the Guilford Quakers, who were facing Coastal for the second time in program history.

The 6-foot-4 Wilson also pulled down five rebounds before sitting out the final 9:30 of the game after Coastal had built a 64-34 lead. It was the second consecutive game that Wilson has led the Chanticleers in scoring.

Michel Enanga, a sophomore forward, added 14 points before sitting out much of the second half with four fouls, while promising freshman guard Colton Ray-St Cyr added 8 points and 6 rebounds off the bench. It was the fifth consecutive home-opening win for head coach Cliff Ellis, who enjoyed having 11 players score and resting his starters most of the second half.

“We have some very good freshmen who played well tonight,” said Ellis. “All they need is experience and time.”

Coastal enjoyed its biggest lead at 36 points near the end of the game when forward Tristian Curtis scored to make it 74-40 with three minutes left in the game.

After trading 3-pointers to start the game, Coastal scored the next seven points and was never threatened the rest of the night. Wilson scored seven of his 10 first-half points in a 15-2 run that lifted the Chanticleers to a 15-point lead at 27-12 with seven minutes left in the period.

A late 6-point run finished off by Ndieguene’s short jumper gave Coastal its 38-22 halftime lead, its largest lead of the period.

Wilson began the game by missing his first four shots before getting in gear. And the 6-11 Ndieguene, who started all but one game a year ago, came off the bench to grab eight points and five rebounds in just 11 minutes of the opening period. Guilford was led by Hyatt’s six points in the half, but he was just 2-10 from the field and the Quakers tallied just five points through the first eight minutes.

Hyatt was held scoreless in the second half. Matt McCarthy finished the game as the Quakers’ high scorer with just eight points, and Guilford shot just 28 percent from the field.

Coastal will be home again at 7 p.m. Saturday to host Ole Miss, the 2012-13 SEC champion.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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