Cuthbertson, Jones Lead CCU Past ULM, 92-81

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CONWAY, S.C. – Senior forward Zac Cuthbertson scored a game-high 29 points and freshman guard DeVante Jones added a career high 25 points as Coastal Carolina led from start to finish in beating Louisiana-Monroe 92-81 in a Sun Belt game Thursday at the HTC Center. It was the highest point total for the Chanticleers this season.
 
Junior guard Tyrell Gumbs-Frater also hit for 12 points, all in the first half, as the Chanticleers improved to 11-9 overall and 5-3 in the conference with their fourth consecutive win. ULM, led by senior forward Travis Munnings’ 23 points, dropped to 11-9 and 4-4.
 
Coastal built a 20-point lead early in the second half at 61-41 before ULM rallied to trail by only 78-73 with two minutes remaining in the game, but the Chanticleers made 10-14 free throws down the stretch to hang on. Coastal was also aided by a double technical on the ULM bench at the 1:35 mark, leading to a 4-point play that put the Chanticleers safely in front 84-73.
 
“Zac (Cuthbertson) played his best offensive game since he’s been here,” said Coastal head coach Cliff Ellis. “And DJ (Jones) had a great scoring night. We also protected the ball and made free throws. That’s the key.”
 
Coastal shot 27-51 from the field (53%), with Cuthbertson and Jones combining for 15-24 from the field. Jones also had seven assists. Coastal hit 11-21 3-pointers (52%) and converted 27-34 free throws (79%). The rebounds were a slim 30-29 in ULM’s favor, with Cuthbertson leading Coastal with eight boards. ULM finished at 24-53 shooting (45%) and 13-29 from long range (45%).
 
Coastal started the game with a hot hand, hitting 9-14 from the field and 6-10 from 3-point range. Gumbs-Frater hit a pair of long-range jumpers to pace the Chanticleers on a 12-2 run for a 30-10 lead with 9 minutes left in the first half. ULM opened by going an uncharacteristic 0-7 from 3-point range but then hit their next three to go on a 12-0 run and cut the margin to 30-22.
 
From there, Gumbs-Frater hit another 3-pointer to help Coastal enjoy a double-digit lead for most of the remining six minutes of the first half. Coastal led 46-35 at the break, its third highest first-half total of the year. Gumbs-Frater and Jones already had 12 points at the half, while Cuthbertson had 10.
 
Coastal hosts Louisiana at 2 p.m. Saturday at the HTC Center before heading on the road for three conference games

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