Cold-shooting Chants fall at South Alabama, 71-65

Cold-shooting Chants fall at South Alabama, 71-65
Coastal Carolina's Tyrik Dixon moves the ball during a game against South Alabama on Friday. (Source: CCU Athletics)

MOBILE, Ala. – Tyrik Dixon scored 18 points but it was not enough as Coastal Carolina fell to South Alabama 71-65 in a men’s basketball Sun Belt Conference road game Friday night.

The Chants (12-5 / 6-4 Sun Belt) were cold from the field only connecting on 33 percent from the field in the six-point loss. CCU only hit eight of their 32 three-point attempts (25%) and was 15-of-21 (71%) at the free-throw line.

CCU’s leading scorer DeVante’ Jones was held to a season-low 10 points, as he was limited to only four field-goal attempts. Essam Mostafa also reached double-figures with 11 points.

The Sun Belt’s leading scorer Michael Flowers showed why he leads the league finishing the game with a game-high 28 points on 8-of-19 shooting.

Tyreke Locure had 20 points as he and Flowers combined for 48 of the Jags 71 points. USA shot 39 percent from the field and hit 11 three-point field goals, none bigger than Kayo Goncalves’ three with a minute left in the game that gave USA a 67-61 lead. It was his only field goal of the game.

Once again, the Chants won the battle of the boards with 48 rebounds compared to 37 for USA. Jones led the way tying his career-high with a game-high 14 rebounds.

USA (10-8 / 4-5 Sun Belt) took a 32-28 lead into the locker room at halftime after Sam Iorio knocked down a three at the horn, his second three of the first half.

Neither team shot the ball very well in the first 20 minutes with USA shooting 34.4 percent and CCU 31.0. The Jags led by as many as 11 (21-10) in the first half only to see CCU go on a 13-2 run to even the score at 23.

Dixon led the Chants offensive efforts with nine points in the opening half and Mostafa added five. CCU’s Jones only had two points on two free throws after not attempting a field goal in the first half.

Locure led USA with 12 points and the Jags leading scorer Flowers scored seven in the opening half.

CCU had a 25-18 rebounding lead, but the problem of turnovers continued to haunt the Chants in the opening 20 minutes with eight of them, of which, the Jags turned into seven points.

These two teams will be back at it tomorrow when they play the second game of the weekend series at 5 p.m. ET.