CCU cruises past NC Central without two starters

Courtesy Coastal Carolina Athletic Department:

CONWAY, SC – Coastal Carolina saw all five of its starters score in double figures and the Chanticleers returned to their winning ways with a 94-59 rout of North Carolina Central Thursday night from Kimbel Arena.

Chad Gray scored 25 points and grabbed six rebounds to help Coastal Carolina hold a 54-14 advantage in points in the paint.  Dexter Moore earned his first start of the season and responded with 22 points and a career-high seven rebounds.

Danny Nieman and Sam McLaurin added 12 points each, while Anthony Raffa finished with 11 points and a career-high nine rebounds as Coastal finished with a 43-23 edge on the glass.  The Chants also turned 11 offensive rebounds into a 16-0 advantage in points in the paint.

Brandon Crawford added a career-high five assists and Coastal finished with at least 20 assists for the sixth team this season.  The Chanticleers lead the Big South with 15.9 assists per game and have posted more assists than their opponents in 16 of their last 18 games.

Jeremy Ingram led North Carolina Central with 14 points.  C.J. Wilkerson added 13 points, Nick Chasten poured in 12 and Landon Clement chipped in with 10.

Coastal Carolina (25-3) used a 22-7 run midway through the first half to break a 12-12 tie and open up a 34-19 lead with just under five minutes remaining in the first half.

North Carolina Central (12-12) made just 10 field goals in the first half and shot 33.3 percent from the field.  The Chanticleers were 16-for-29 in the opening half and shot 55.2 percent.

The Chanticleers opened the second half on an 11-2 run over the first 3:21 and took a 25-point lead on a jumper in the paint from Gray.

The Eagles pulled within 15 points on a basket by Ingram with 13:14 left to play, but the Chants used a fastbreak layup from Moore, an old fashioned three-point play from Raffa and a dunk from Gray on consecutive possessions to push the lead back to 20 points.

North Carolina managed just one field goal over the final 5:16 and watched as Coastal built its largest lead of the game at 35 points on a layup by Jon Pack with 1:26 remaining.

Coastal Carolina returns to action Tuesday at 7 p.m. when the Chanticleers host UNC Asheville from Kimbel Arena.  A victory over the Bulldogs would give Coastal its second straight Big South Conference championship.