Mostafa, Williams lead Coastal to 80-56 win over South Carolina

Mostafa picks up his third double-double of the season and 12th of his career
CCU guard Rudi Williams finished with 19 points in the win.
CCU guard Rudi Williams finished with 19 points in the win.(WMBF)
Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 3:21 PM EST
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CONWAY, S.C. – Sophomore center Essam Mostafa scored 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and Rudi Williams scored 19 to lead Coastal Carolina to a surprisingly easy 80-56 win over in-state rival South Carolina Wednesday night at the HTC Center. Mostafa had 19 of his points in the second half and Coastal used a 24-4 run to start the second half and led by double digits the rest of the way.

Senior transfer Vince Cole added 16 points for the Chanticleers, who are now 3-2 on the season. Senior Garrick Green also played a big part in the win, with six points and eight rebounds to go along with his all-out hustle.

South Carolina was led by Erik Stevenson’s 12 points but had its four-game winning streak snapped and is now 5-2. This was the first time USC has played at Coastal.

“This is a great win for our program,” said head coach Cliff Ellis, who was honored in the pre-game for his 800th career win. “We were jacked up and we played well tonight. I thought Williams put us on his back in the first half. And Mostafa had another double-double and you can’t ask for more than that. He really battles all the time.”

Mostafa now has 12 double-doubles in his brief career, after a slow start on the night. He picked up an early foul but battled without picking up another foul until midway through the second half, when the outcome was decided. He made six-of-his 13 shots, but more importantly he converted 11-of-16 free throws, which kept the Gamecocks from ever mounting a serious comeback.

After trading baskets to start the game, Williams took control with nine consecutive points for Coastal, lifting it to a 15-9 lead mid-way through the first period. And when Williams added a couple of free throws, the Chanticleers had a 31-18 lead. South Carolina used its inside muscle to climb back to a 35-35 tie in the final minutes of the period before Josh Uduje made a free throw to close the half with Coastal clinging to a 36-35 advantage. Thanks to Williams, CCU led for all but three minutes of the first half. The Chants led the rest of the way as well.

Williams already had 15 points at the break and the 6′9″ Mostafa had nine rebounds, holding his own against the big front line of the Gamecocks that included a 7-footer and 6′10″ Wildens Leveque, the team’s leading rebounder.

Mostafa then showed his scoring ability. He and junior point-guard Ebrima Dibba led the Chanticleers on a 14-3 run to open the second half, for a 52-38 CCU lead. Mostafa then hit five-of-six free throws to lift Coastal to a 21-point lead, at 60-39, with 12:30 remaining. Coastal’s largest lead came near the end when Mostafa made a pair of free throws to grow the home-team advantage to 26 points, at 80-54.

Coastal shot 24-of-57 (42 percent) from the field and made 27-of-38 free throws, including 17-20 in the second half. Coastal also outrebounded the bigger Gamecocks, 49-38. Mostafa was 6-of-13 from the field and Williams was 6-of-8. He also dished out a team-leading six assists.

Coastal will be back in action at 1 p.m. Saturday, hosting Winthrop in the second of a six-game home stand at the HTC Center.

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