CONWAY, S.C. – Junior center Essam Mostafa scored 17 of his game-high 21 points in the second half, but his effort was not quite enough as Coastal Carolina gave up a go-ahead bucket in the last minute and fell to UNC Wilmington, 60-58, in a non-conference game Wednesday evening at the HTC Center. UNCW didn’t lead by more than four points the entire game, but Shekeim Phillips’ foul line jumper was the difference, as it put the Seahawks up by two.
“We had great numbers at the end there, and they are taught to take it to the hoop,” explained Coastal head coach Cliff Ellis. “We didn’t get a good look, and that one’s on me. I thought our defense played great in holding them to 60 points, but we turned the ball over too much and made just 2-of-13 three-pointers. Essam Mostafa played possessed tonight and he kept us in the game. And I thought Josh Uduje played well. But the rest of the team struggled.”
Neither team shot better than 40 percent from the field, but UNCW had 12 three-pointers compared to just two for the Chanticleers. Coastal outrebounded the Seahawks, 37-34, but got just five assists on its 17 field goals and suffered 17 costly turnovers.
Coastal now hits the road for a couple of in-state away games. CCU will play at Winthrop at 2 p.m. ET Saturday and at Wofford at 7 p.m. ET next Tuesday. The Chants will return home Saturday, Dec. 10, to face Regent at 7 p.m. ET and then welcome the College of Charleston at 7:30 pm. ET on Monday, Dec. 19.