NASSAU, Bahamas – Rudi Williams’ three with 22 seconds left carried the Coastal Carolina men’s basketball team to a come-from-behind 64-61 win in the semifinal round of the Baha Mar Nassau Championship.
The win gave legendary CCU head coach Cliff Ellis his 800th career win as an NCAA Division I coach, becoming just the 13th coach in NCAA history to have 800 career wins.
The Chanticleers (2-1) struggled shooting from the field until the final five minutes as CCU hit eight of their final nine shots to come back from an eight-point second-half deficit to pick up their second win of the season.
CCU only shot 39 percent from the field for the game, but hit 16-of-33 (49 percent) shots in the second half to make their numbers look a little better.
Essam Mostafa had a game-high 16 points to lead three Chanticleers in double digits. Williams finished with 10 as did Ebrima Dibba who also had a game-high seven assists.
Garrick Green came up one point short of a double-double with nine points and a team-high 11 rebounds.
The Beacons (1-4) also had three players reach double digits led by Kevion Taylor’s 15 points. All of his points came on a game-high five three-pointers. Sheldon Edwards came off the bench to hit a trio of three’s and finished the night with 13 points while Ben Krikke added 12.
Valpo finished the game shooting 40.4 percent from the field and hit 32 percent of their three’s.
The Chants did win the rebounding battle 42-36 and forced 12 turnovers which they turned into 13 points. CCU also outscored Valpo 44-20 in the paint.
Neither team was in top shooting form to start the game, but Valpo hit enough shots down the stretch to open up a 30-26 halftime lead.
Krikke and Thomas Kithier led Valpo with seven points each while Taylor added six. Valpo shot 41 percent from the floor and hit four of their 15 three-point attempts.
The Chants only managed to shoot 30 percent from the field led by Green’s five points. Mostafa, Williams, Cole, and Will Likayi added four points each.
With the win, the Chanticleers move into tomorrow’s championship game to face Toledo (4-1), a 68-67 over Tulane in the day’s other semifinal action.
The game can be heard on WRNN Hot Talk 99.5 FM and can be viewed live on FLOHOOPS. Links for both along with live stats can be found at www.GoCCUSports.com.
Courtesy – Coastal Carolina Athletics