DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Redshirt freshman Essam Mostafa recorded his ninth double-double of the year with 22 points and 12 rebounds in leading Coastal Carolina to a 77-72 overtime victory over Stetson in the semifinals of the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) Tuesday afternoon at Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Fla.
The victory was win No. 876 for head coach Cliff Ellis, which ties him with legendary Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp for 15th on the all-time career-wins list.
The junior only had five points and five rebounds in the first half and finished regulation with 14 points and nine rebounds. However, the big man took over in the overtime period scoring six of the Chants’ first eight points and finished the overtime with eight points and three rebounds before fouling out with 48 seconds left.
Tyrik Dixon had a huge game off the bench for the Chants with 17 points and three assists. He scored eight points in overtime and hit two free throws with six seconds left to ice the victory for CCU.
Ebrima Dibba was the final double-digit scorer, finishing the game with 11 points and a game-high eight assists. Leading scorer DeVante’ Jones had an off-night finishing the game with only nine points, all in the first half, and fouled out with just over a minute left in regulation.
CCU (18-7) shot 44.4 percent (28-of-63) from the field, but only hit 4-of-16 three-point field goals for 25 percent. The Chants have been a solid free throw shooting team all season, but had their second worst game of the year at the stripe hitting just 17-of-32 attempts for 53 percent.
Stetson (12-15) got a game-high 28 points off the bench from Christiaan Jones also completed a double-double of his own by adding 10 rebounds.
The Hatters hit 41.4 percent (24-of-58) from the field, but did make eight of their 26 three-point attempts for 31 percent. They also did a little better at the free throw line shooing 70 percent (16-of-23).
The Hatters shot 57 percent in the first half on their way to a 33-31 halftime lead. Six of their 12 field goals were three’s with Jones coming off the bench to knock down three three-pointers and score 14 points. Perry had 10 first-half points on 4-of-5 shooting and Valdez scored nine, all on three-pointers. They were the only three players to score for Stetson in the first half.
The Chants were hot from the field as well in the first half as they connected on 50 percent of their shots overall, but only hit on two of their seven three-point attempts and missed four of their five free throws. DeVante’ Jones had nine points and Dibba added six points in the opening half.
The Chanticleers move on to the finals where they will face Pepperdine, who defeated Bellarmine in the other semifinal game. The title game will be played on Wednesday, March 24 at 8:00 p.m. ET.