The CCU men’s basketball team’s first game of the season ended in a loss against Campbell University from Buies Creek, North Carolina. The final score was 75-74.
At 7 p.m. on Tuesday night, the starters for the Chants were called onto the court one by one: sophomore Ebrima Dibba, junior Garrick Green, junior Keishawn Brewton, sophomore Issac Hippolyte, and senior Tommy Burton joined on the court and fed off the crowd’s frenzy.
The ball was tipped off and the game began with Brewton hitting a deep three for Coastal’s first points of the game. By halftime, the scoreboard read 36-33.
The bleachers were packed with students, faculty, and community members cheering on the team. For her first college basketball game attendance, freshman Hanna Cordle said that “watching this team play is completely different from my high school. The players are more aggressive, and the score is a lot higher than what I have seen. It makes it more exciting, especially with the crowd being as hype as it was.”
Keishawn Brewton had a game high with 24 points, Tyrell Gumbs-Frater pitched in 21, and Hippolyte as well as Burton contributed 6 points each.
The player rotation stayed constant. Freshmen Hosana Kitenge and Timothy Caesar got a taste of their first NCAA college game, scoring a couple points each for the team. Kitenge, accustomed more to the rules of European basketball, struggled in the paint at first with two quick fouls, but learned the ropes and dominated defensively. He reminded us that “we need to work on transition defense,” something the Chants hope to improve come next game.
The game came down to free-throws, the Chants only shooting eight for 16 at the line.
Following a tough loss, the men came out in full force Friday night in a non-conference game against Hampden-Sydney, a division 3 team from Virginia. The Chants won 102-66.
Green and Gumbs-Frater had 24 points apiece, as well as Devante Jones putting in 7 assists during his first game after suffering a broken foot.
The next match up is Tuesday, Nov. 12 as the Chanticleers go up against Northern Kentucky.