Uduje scores 33 points to lead CCU past South Alabama
CONWAY, S.C. – Josh Uduje scored a career-high 33 points, including four free throws in the final 22 seconds of overtime, to lead Coastal Carolina to a hard-fought 85-81 overtime win over South Alabama in a Sun Belt Conference game Saturday afternoon at the HTC Center.
Uduje, who had 26 of his 33 points in the second half and overtime, was helped by Essam Mostafa, who had 19 points, and Antonio Daye, who had 10. Mostafa also grabbed 13 rebounds to collect his 13th double-double of the season. Daye had a game-high 11 assists for his second double-double in as many games. Wilfried Likayi added seven points and 13 rebounds, while Henry Abraham hit three three-pointers for nine points.
Lost in all of the excitement of the overtime victory, was the play of Mostafa who entered the game needing only 18 points to reach 1,000 career points. After scoring 15 points in the opening half, the second half was a lot tougher for the redshirt junior, who finally managed to score point No. 1,000 on a free throw with 4:18 left in the game.
Coastal led by as many as 16 points and stayed in front until the very end of regulation when Tyrell Jones hit a three-pointer with 56 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime, tied at 68-68 and send the game into overtime. Another Jones’ three-pointer to start overtime gave South Alabama its first lead.
With Coastal trailing 74-72 with just over three minutes left in the extra period, Daye scored on a layup and was fouled on the play. His free throw put the Chants up 75-74 and they would hold on the rest of the way to lift their record to 10-9 overall and 4-4 in the league. Daye had eight of his team’s 17 points in overtime, while Uduje had seven.
Jones, who made six three-pointers, hit for a career-high 25 points in a losing cause for the Jaguars, which fell to 8-12 overall and 2-6 in conference.
“Josh Uduje put us on his back. What a great game he played,” said Coastal head coach Cliff Ellis. “His confidence is soaring, and I am tickled for him. And Essam Mostafa, he just brings it every day. They’re going to have to start calling us the cardiac kids,” continued Ellis in reference to his team’s back-to-back overtime wins. “The fans are enjoying it, but it’s going to drive me nuts. That’s just the way this conference is.”
Coastal defeated Appalachian State 93-84 in overtime on Thursday.
Coastal made it look easy in the beginning, hitting on 8-of-11 shots to start the contest to take a 17-4 lead. Mostafa had three inside buckets in the run, which was capped by a slam dunk from DJ Basey. And Mostafa was just getting started. He hit his first seven shots, all from close range, and had 15 points at the break. His last layup started an 11-3 run that included two three-pointers from Abraham, giving the Chants their biggest lead at 41-25. South Alabama kept within range by making six three-pointers, with the last trey making the score 41-28 at the half.
Coastal, now 7-3 at home, hit 49 percent (33-of-68) shots from the field and made 12-of-15 free throws, including all six in overtime. The Chants also dished out 15 assists for the game and had a season-low of just seven turnovers. Coastal used the efforts of Likayi and Mostafa to hold a 43-32 rebounding advantage.
South Alabama made 16 of its 31 baskets from beyond the three-point line, with Jones hitting on 6-of-13 from long range.
Coastal will play its third home game in five days on Monday, Jan. 23, when the Chanticleers host Chicago State at 7 p.m. ET. The Chants will then head to James Madison on Thursday, Jan. 26, for a 7 p.m. ET start, before returning to the HTC Center next Saturday, Jan. 28, for a 4 p.m. ET tip against Old Dominion.
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