Chants claw back, get to CBI Semifinals

Courtesy of: CCU Athletics

CONWAY, S.C. – Jaylen Shaw scored 22 points and senior Elijah Wilson had 16 as Coastal Carolina defeated Loyola (Md.) 72-63 to move on to the semifinals in the College Basketball Invitational.

It was not easy as the Chanticleers (19-18) fell down 18-2 to start the game before slowly getting back into the flow of the game.  It was the second time this season CCU had comeback from a 16-point deficit to win.  They had turned the trick earlier in the season at South Alabama.

The Chanticleers had four players reach double digits as Demario Beck (15) and Artur Labinowicz (12) also reached double digits.

It was a game in which the Chanticleers only hit three of its 15 three point attempts (20%) and turned the ball over 17 times leading to 14 Greyhound points.

CCU made a concerted effort to get the ball inside where they outscored Loyola 44-18 in the paint.  CCU also out rebounded the visitors 45-38 as Beck and Michel Enanga had eight each to lead CCU.  13 of those rebounds were offensive rebounds and led to 12 second chance points.

In the second half, CCU came out and scored the first nine points of the half to open up a 38-33 lead, before Loyola re-grouped and actually took a 57-52 lead with eight minutes to go in the game.

From there the Chanticleers went on a 14-2 run over the next six minutes to go, building a 66-59 lead and never looking back.

CCU finished the game shooting 47 percent from the field, but that was a strong 52 percent (25-48) on their two point field goals.  CCU hit 13 of its 20 free throws, including six-of-nine in the final minute to help hold the lead.

The Greyhounds (16-17) shot 34 percent from the field, but stayed in the game hitting 10 three-point field goals.  Loyola entered the game shooting 33 percent from beyond the three-point line and averaging 5.3 three per game.  Tonight they hit 10 three-point field goals and in fact hit 10 of its first 20 attempts, but down the stretch they missed 11 straight threes to finish 32 percent shooting on their threes.

Loyola also hit 11 of its 13 free throws for 87 percent after entering the game only shooting 65 percent from the free throw line.

Chuck Champion scored 18 to lead the Greyhounds and Andre Walker added 12 and Chancellor Barnard had 10.

The first half saw the visitors come out and blitz the Chants on their way to an 18-2 lead over the first eight minutes of the game.  On their way to the 16-point lead the Greyhounds shot 55 percent from the field and hit four of their six free throws.

Champion, who was averaging 4.3 points per game, came into the game off the bench and scored 10 points to lead Loyola.  LU ended the half shooting 36 percent from the field and 39 percent from the three point line.  They did manage to hit all six of their free throws and turned 11 CCU turnovers into nine points.

Meanwhile, the Chants took a little bit longer to get going, but once they did, they started cutting into the lead quickly.  Wggins led the charge with 13 points, including a buzzer-beater to cut the lead to two right before half.

Wilson stepped up and scored 10 points as CCU finished the half shooting 41 percent from the field.  CCU only hit two of their seven three point field goals and hit three of their five free throws.

With the win, the Chanticleers will have another chance to play in front of the home crowd Wednesday, March 22 when they host the University of Illinois-Chicago.  The Flames (17-18) took down George Washington in one of the other quarterfinal games tonight 80-71.