CONWAY – Zac Cuthbertson led four Chanticleers in double figures with 28 points as Coastal Carolina defeated South Alabama 92-70.
While the game was relatively close at halftime, CCU came out in the second half and slowly pulled away by shooting over 55 percent in leading by as many as 26 points late in the game.
The game pushed CCU to a 15-14 overall record and even more important gave them a 9-8 conference record. Pushing them one game closer to one of the top six conference teams, meaning they would miss a first-round game.
The Chants shot 54 percent (33-61) from the field as Tyrell Gumbs-Frater (17), DeVante Jones (15) and Ajay Sanders (12) joined Cuthbertson in reaching double-digits.
Ebrima Dibba also reached double figures, but it was in assists. The freshman had 11 assists on the season which is a team and career-high. CCU finished the game with 22 assists which equaled a season-high set against Louisiana Monroe just last Saturday.
Gumbs-Frater continued his assault on three-point shooting, hitting four-of-six from beyond the long-range line. He helped CCU shoot 42 percent on its threes hitting 13-of-31.
The Chants also did a good job at the line knocking down 13 of its 15 attempts for 87 percent.
CCU hit the boards hard out rebounding the visitors 38-21. Cuthbertson and Ajay Sanders had seven each and Josh Coleman came off the bench to grab five.
The Chants forced 13 turnovers and had eight steals. They turned those turnovers into 22 points. CCU also tied its season-high with six blocked shot with Tommy Burton having two of those.
Like the Chants, the visitors shot the ball well finishing the game shooting 46 percent (24-52) from the field. They did shoot well on their three-point field goals, only hitting three-of-13 for 23 percent. USA did a solid job at the charity stripe hitting 19-of-22 for 86 percent.
Trhae Mitchell had 22 points to lead USA and Josh Ajayi finished with 13. Herb McGee had a team-high six rebounds and also led the Jags with five assists.
Both teams shot 52 percent from the floor in the opening 20 minutes as CCU took a 37-34 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Cuthbertson led the way for CCU with 13 points and he had five rebounds. CCU had 12 assists on its 13 field goals with Dibba leading the way with six.
Mitchell had 10 for South Alabama. USA forced 10 CCU turnovers and turned those into 13 points