The 2015-16 season is the last in the Big South Conference for the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, who will make the move to the Sun Belt Conference for the 2016-17 season and beyond. Coastal Carolina has won back-to-back conference titles, and are looking to complete the hat trick before moving to their new home.
After a sluggish start to conference play, the Chanticleers have started to turn things around. Coming into Saturday afternoon’s tilt with the Radford Highlanders, the Chanticleers had won their previous six outings in a row, and were making a move up the Big South standings.
Back in December, the Chanticleers took down the Highlanders in Conway, SC, and were looking to complete the season sweep in Radford, VA. The Highlanders were looking to get back on the right track, having lost in their previous outing to the Winthrop Eagles.
On Saturday, the Chanticleers would pull away in the second half to complete the season sweep of the Radford Highlanders. Elijah Wilson scored a team-high 19 points, and Coastal Carolina came away with the 72-60 win to push their win streak to a season-high 7 games.
To open the game, the teams would trade baskets before the Highlanders would open up a five-point lead. Rashun Davis hit a layup at the 15:16 mark to give the home team an early 11-6 lead.
Wilson and Badou Diagne would respond for the Chanticleers, putting together a 7-0 run to push Coastal Carolina back in front, 13-11.
Back and forth the teams would go, trading leads in the process. Neither team was able to gain much separation from one another until the closing minutes, when the Chanticleers started to put some distance between themselves and the Highlanders before the half was out.
With the score tied up at 17-all, Jaylen Shaw connected on a three pointer that kicked off a 10-4 run that gave Coastal Carolina a 27-21 advantage. Colton Ray-St. Cyr would throw down a dunk with under a minute in the half to send the Chanticleers into the break with a 32-26 lead over the Highlanders.
Radford cut the deficit to 4 points early in the second half on a jumper by Cameron Jones, but Diagne would respond with a three pointer to push the Chanticleers’ lead back to 7.
Wilson would score five quick points to push the lead to double-digits with 13:52 to play in the half.
Credit Radford for continuing to chip away, getting the deficit down to as little as 5 in the second half, but they were never able to overtake the Chanticleers down the stretch. Shivaughn Wiggins would hit a pair of free throws in the closing minutes to push the lead to as many as 13, and that sealed the deal.
Coastal Carolina slowly pulled away in the second half, and completed the season sweep of the Radford Highlanders with the 72-60 road victory.
It was the duo of Badou Diagne and Elijah Wilson who led the way for the red-hot Chanticleers. Wilson scored a team-high 19 points to lead the way, while Diagne put together a double-double of 13 points and 16 rebounds in the victory.
Jaylen Shaw added 14 points of his own, while Shivaughn Wiggins added 10 points and 5 assists to round out a balanced attack for Coastal Carolina.
On the home side, the guard duo of Rashun Davis and Cameron Jones did their best to keep the Highlanders in the game, but it wasn’t enough. Davis scored a game-high 22 points to go along with 5 assists, while Jones added 14 points of his own.
Forward Brandon Holcomb added 8 points and 3 rebounds, while no other Radford player had more than 5 points on the afternoon.
After a slow start to conference play, the two-time defending champion Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (15-8, 9-4) have now won 7 straight contests, and are within a game of the conference lead. They will look to keep their streak going on Thursday, February 11th when they return home to take on the High Point Panthers.
The loss was the second straight defeat for the Radford Highlanders (13-11, 6-6) after a three-game winning streak. They will look to return to their winning ways on Thursday night when they take on the conference-leading UNC-Asheville Bulldogs.