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  • Brendan Donoghue

Coastal men’s basketball drops season finale, heads to New Orleans for Sun Belt Tournament

The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers split the weekend series in their final two regular season home games of the 2018-2019 season. The Chanticleers stormed past South Alabama 92-70 on Thursday, March 7 before dropping their season finale against Troy on Saturday, March 9.

The Chanticleers were led by Senior Forward Zac Cuthbertson as he dropped 28 points over 34 minutes of play. Cuthbertson was one of four Chanticleers to reach double figures in scoring, he was joined by Tyrel Gumbs-Frater (17 points), Devante Jones (15 points), and Ajay Sanders (12 points).

CCU matched their season high with 22 assists, 11 of which came courtesy of Ebrima Dibba.

South Alabama was led by Thrae Mitchell and his 22 points, Josh Ajayi also reached double figures as he added 13 points of his own.

Coastal Carolina outshot South Alabama 54.1 percent to 46.2 percent for the game. They also shot better from three point range (41.9 percent to 23.1 percent) and dominated on the glass, pulling down 38 rebounds to USA’s 21. The two teams shot seemingly the same from the free-throw line, as Coastal Carolina made 86.7%percent of their shots from the charity stripe, while South Alabama made 86.4 percent.

A three point game at halftime turned into blowout late in the second half as CCU outscored USA 55-36 in the contest’s final 20 minutes.

Senior forward Zac Cuthbertson capped his remarkable season by scoring his 1,000 point and finishing the game with a game-high 19 points to finish with 1,010 career points.

Cuthbertson’s 1,000 point game did not go smoothly as he left eh game with an injury and finished the first half with only two points. He returned to the game in the second half and proceeded to drop 17 en route to the major milestone.

While Coastal led for a majority of the game, Troy finished the game on a 10-0 run to come from behind and seal a victory.

In addition to Cuthbertson’s 19 points, coastal received major contributions from Ebrima Dibba (14 points and 5 assists) and Tommy Burton (13 points).

Troy was led by Alex Hicks and his 15 points, and was joined in double figures by K.J. Simon (12 points), Davion Thomas (11 points), and Darian Adams (10 points).

The game turned out to be a statistical abomination for the Chanticleers, as they shot a mere 37.7 percent for the game, 67.6 percent from the free throw line, and a pathetic 11.8 percent from three-point range. CCU was also outrebounded by Troy 43-38.

With the loss, Coastal finished the season as the 6th seed in the Sun Belt and head to New Orleans for the Sun Belt Conference Championship which runs March 14-17.

Coastal Carolina will face the winner of Louisiana-Monroe/Appalachian State on Thursday, March 14 at Lakefront Arena in New Orleans. The Chanticleers swept the season series with ULM but split the season series with Appalachian State.

Tip-off for CCU versus ULM/App State is set for 8:30 p.m.

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