CONWAY, SC – Coastal Carolina senior forward Tommy Burton had 13 points, but the Chanticleers couldn’t find the mark from a usually consistent corps of three-point shooters as Mississippi State ran away to an 81-56 win over the Chants in the battle for third-place in the Myrtle Beach Invitational Sunday at the HTC Center.
The loss dropped Coastal to 3-4 on the year as the Chants registered their lowest scoring output of the season. Mississippi State, a team getting votes in the top-25 national poll, improved to 6-1 on the year, with its only loss coming to No. 17 Villanova by seven points in an earlier tournament game.
Coastal managed a couple of other double figures scores as point guard DeVante Jones and reserve freshman forward Tim Ceaser had 10 points apiece. But after averaging 10 made three-pointers in the first two games of the tournament, the Chanticleers were just 3-of-16 from beyond the arc against the bigger and stronger Bulldogs.
“Our legs were not there. This was a tough outing for us,” said Coastal head coach Cliff Ellis, whose team was playing for the first time without sophomore guard Ebrima Dibba, who injured a knee in the last game and will be out for the rest of the season. “I don’t think we handled the game plan well, but we are a totally new team without Dibba. Our identity changes without him, but we have to play with the cards we’ve been dealt.”
Keishawn Brewton was 11-of-17 from long range in the first two games of the tournament but was 0-of-6 against Mississippi State. As a team, Coastal came in hitting better than 52 percent of its treys, including going 20-of-38 in the previous two games. The Chants also struggled in overall shooting, hitting just 19-of-54 (35 percent) from the floor.
Mississippi State showed its inside strength with eight dunks and held a 36-31 rebounding advantage in the contest. The Bulldogs jumped in front early, using a 12-2 run to take at 22-9 lead. Tyson Carter had 13 points in the first period that ended with the Bulldogs in front, 41-23. He finished with a team-high 19 points.
Coastal pulled to within 11 points at 47-36 on back-to-back field goals by Brewton and Jones, but Mississippi State finished with a flurry, stretching its lead to 31 points at 81-50 in the final minutes.
The Chanticleers will now get five days off before playing its first road contest of the season, next Saturday, Nov. 30 at Delaware State. They will be back at home against Greensboro College on Dec. 4.
Courtesy: Coastal Carolina Athletics