The Coastal Carolina men’s basketball team wrapped up their 2019 Myrtle Beach Invitational run Nov. 24 with a 81-56 loss to Mississippi State.
The Chanticleers went 1-2 over the course of the tournament, defeating Utah 79-57 on Nov. 21. The victory proved to be the first win over a Pac-12 team in program history. Keishawn Brewton led the way for Chants with 22 points. Brewton, along with Ebrima Dibba, Devonte Jones and Garrick Green, all scored double digits in the historic win for the Chants.
Garrick Green nailed a three-pointer with just over 14 minutes to go in the first half and Coastal Carolina never looked back. Green finished with 12 points and took care of business on the defensive end with three blocks. The Chants continued to pour things on in the second half, taking an 11-point lead in with 13:42 remaining in the game. From there, the Chants maintained that double digit lead and kept pounding the Utes throughout the half. Coastal shot the ball extremely well Thursday night, making 45 percent of their shots and going 11-24 from three-point range compared to Utah’s 33 percent shooting and 17 percent three-point shooting.
The win sent the Chants to the semifinals with a matchup against No. 24 Baylor on Nov. 22.
The Chanticleers jetted out to a 21-12 lead within the first eight minutes of the first half but the Bears stormed back, going on a 17-0 run over a span of six minutes. With five minutes to go in the half, the Chants trailed Baylor by nine and it looked like the Bears would increase that lead. Then, the Chants rallied back with a 14-5, capped off with a dunk by Green.
Early in the second half, Ebrima Dibba picked up a steal and ran down the court, looking to increase the Chants six-point lead. Instead, Dibba went up for a layup and slipped, collapsing to the ground. Following Sunday’s game against Mississippi State, head coach Cliff Ellis confirmed the worst for Chanticleer fans.’
“He has torn his ACL, LCL and his hamstring is off the bone,” said Ellis. “He has a long, hard road to recovery.”
The Bears took the lead at the 9:59 mark and controlled the game the rest of the way, defeating the Chants 77-65.
Despite having Saturday off, Coastal could not recover in time for the drubbing the Bulldogs of Mississippi State would put on the Chanticleers Sunday afternoon in the third place game.
Mississippi State took the lead 18 seconds into the first half and never looked back. The closest the Chanticleers got to the Bulldogs was with 15:06 left in the first half, when the Chants trailed 10-7. The Bulldogs went into the half with an 18-point lead and the pressure didn’t stop in the second half as Mississippi State kept lighting up the scoreboard. The hot shooting that helped the Chants get a win over Utah on Thursday had gone cold.
Coastal shot 35 percent from the floor compared to Mississippi State’s 52 percent. The Bulldogs were lethal from deep, going 10-23 from three-point range versus the Chants going 3-18.
“Mississippi State is a very talented basketball team,” Ellis said. “They shot the ball extremely well and they forced us to turn the ball over and get buckets from that.”
Coastal rebounded from the tough tournament with a 92-77 victory at Delaware State Saturday, according to a CCU news release. The victory improved the Chanticleers’ record to 4-4 on the season. They were scheduled to host Greensboro College Wednesday after press deadlines.
They play at Winthrop Saturday and return home Dec. 14 to face North Carolina Central.
Coastal opens Sun Belt play Dec. 19 at Troy.