Coastal Men’s Basketball defeats Georgia Southern, 66-55

Coastal Men’s Basketball defeats Georgia Southern, 66-55
The Coastal Carolina men’s basketball team ended the home portion of the 2020-21 season with a come-from-behind 65-55 win over Georgia Southern Sunday afternoon in men’s Sun Belt Conference action at the HTC Center. (Source: Coastal Carolina Basketball)

CONWAY, S.C. – The Coastal Carolina men’s basketball team ended the home portion of the 2020-21 season with a come-from-behind 65-55 win over Georgia Southern Sunday afternoon in men’s Sun Belt Conference action at the HTC Center.

DeVante’ Jones and Ebrima Dibba led the Chanticleers as each recorded a double-double for the game. Jones finished with a game-high 20 points and also had a game-high 11 rebounds in completing his third double-double of the season. He also recorded a game-high four assists.

Dibba scored 12 points and had a career-high 10 rebounds in picking up his first double-double of the season.

CCU (13-6 / 7-5 Sun Belt) trailed for most of the game, only holding the lead for 12:27. After trailing by five at 26-21 coming out of the locker room at halftime, the Chants slowly closed the gap before tying the game at 33 on a Deanthony Tipler free throw with 13:14 left in the game. On CCU’s next possession, Tipler drained a three-pointer to give CCU a 36-33 lead and the Chants never trailed again.

CCU would go on to build a 51-38 lead after two Jones’ free throws with 4:28 left in the game. It was their largest lead in the game.

Tipler was playing for the first time in almost a month and it showed as he was only 2-of-10 from the field, but he hit his final two shots and finished the game with six important points, five rebounds, and a game and career-high four steals.

The coaching staff decided to bring Essam Mostafa off the bench for the first time this year and the freshman responded with 10 points and six rebounds. He also had a steal and two blocked shots.

Garrick Green, playing before his family on senior day, had another strong outing finishing the game with 10 points and five rebounds.

The Eagles (12-11 / 6-8 Sun Belt) had four double-digit scorers with Elijah McCadden leading the way with 12. Gedi Juozapaitis and Cam Bryant added 11 and Eric Boone scored 10.

CCU took charge of the boards in the first half and finished the game with 49 rebounds compared to 32 for the Eagles. The Chants also made their move by shooting 50 percent from the field in the second half to finish shooting 38 percent from the field for the game overall.

CCU struggled on their three’s hitting only 5-of-25 for 20 percent. The Chants made up for it at the free throw line knocking down 20-of-28 for 77 percent.

The Chants continued a recent troubling streak falling behind early and needing to comeback in the second half.  CCU trailed 23-12 with a little over six minutes remaining in the first half. CCU then finished the first half outscoring the Eagles 9-3 to go into halftime trailing 26-21.

Neither team shot the ball very well in the opening 20 minutes as the Eagles shot 33 percent. The Chants were even worse at 26 percent.

Jones had seven of his points in the first half. The Chants stayed as close as they did by controlling the rebounds with 27. Eight of those were on the offensive end of the court and led to eight second chance points.

Boone also had seven points to lead the visitors and McCadden added six on two three-point field goals.

The Chants will end the regular season on the road as they travel down to Alabama to face the Troy Trojans Friday and Saturday, Feb. 26-27.