Chants need OT, but take down Bulldogs

CCU handles UNCA in overtime

Courtesy: CCU Athletics

CONWAY – Elijah Wilson scored 23 points, including all five of Coastal Carolina’s in overtime, to lead the Chanticleers to a key 68-66 home victory over Big South-leading UNC Asheville.

Asheville’s Will Weeks scored on a put-back as time expired to knot the score at 63-63 and send the contest into overtime. The Bulldogs scored first in overtime on a Sam Hughes free throw, but Wilson scored an old-fashioned 3-point play to re-establish Coastal’s lead.

Several possessions later, Wilson blocked a Kevin Vannatta 3-point attempt and finished a driving layup, pushing Coastal to a 68-64 lead with 2:37 to play in overtime. A minute later Asheville’s Ahmad Thomas scored the game’s final basket and three possessions later Badou Diagne grabbed the game’s 93rd and final rebound to secure Coastal’s 68-66 victory.

The win moved the Chanticleers (12-8, 6-4) to within a game of Big South leaders UNC Asheville (14-8) and High Point (14-7), which sport identical 7-3 conference marks.

Wilson, who entered the contest averaging more than 20 points in his five previous games against the Bulldogs, finished the game 9-of-15 from the field with two threes and three free throws for his 23 points. Ron Trapps poured in 14 points and Shivaughn Wiggins added 11 points – all in the first half – as the Coastal backcourt scored 50 of the team’s 68 points.

UNC Asheville was led by Dylan Smith and Hughes as the duo posted double-doubles. Smith scored 14 and had 10 rebounds, while Hughes grabbed 11 boards to go along with his 10 points. Weeks was also in double-figures with 12 points.

Coastal finished the night 25-of-58 from the floor (.431), (18-42), made 7-of-22 threes and 11-of-16 (.688) from the stripe. Asheville shot 34.6 percent overall (28-81), including only 5-of-28 from three and struggled from the free-throw line, making only 5-of-14 attempts. The Bulldogs won the battle on the glass, outrebounding Coastal 52-41, including 19-3 on the offensive end.

Coastal Carolina remains home to host Campbell on Sat., Jan. 30. Tipoff from inside the HTC Center is set for 2:00 p.m. Prior to the game, Coastal Carolina will honor coach Cliff Ellis for his 700th Division I victory career milestone.