CONWAY, S.C., November 21, 2019 – Coastal Carolina didn’t wait until Thanksgiving to dish up a heaping helping of home cooking in the opening round of the Myrtle Beach Invitational.
In front of an enthusiastic crowd at the HTC Center on the Coastal Carolina campus, the Chanticleers grabbed an early lead and never relinquished it, upsetting Utah 79-57 Thursday night. Coastal led 44-38 early in the second half, then went on a 15-2 run to take a commanding 59-40 lead.
“We were really into this game,” Coastal Carolina coach Cliff Ellis said. “Our guys put their heart and soul into it energy-wise. We just played excellent in so many ways. It’s a statement win for us.”
Coastal (3-2) overwhelmed a young Utah team that has 10 freshmen on the roster. The Utes (3-1) were done in by some frigid shooting. They made only 33.3 percent of their shots (25 percent in the second half) and went 5-for-28 from 3-point range.
“You have to play hard, smart and together to win most games. We didn’t play hard enough in the first half, and then we didn’t play smart enough or together enough in the second half,” Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said.
Keishawn Brewton paced Coastal with 22 points, going 6-for-9 from 3-point range. Ebrima Dibba had 19 points and seven rebounds, and Devante Jones added 16 points and four boards.
“This win means a lot,” Jones said. “We came out ready. Coach Ellis told us that this (tournament) was going to be special, and we had to take advantage of it. This was a great win, but we want to keep going from here. This is just the beginning for us.”
Mississippi State 80, Tulane 66: For one game at least, shooting and rebounding proved to be much more important than ball security.
Mississippi State jumped out to a 13-5 lead and maintained a comfortable advantage the rest of the way despite committing 25 turnovers. The Bulldogs offset their sloppiness by sinking 60.5 percent of their shots (68 percent in the second half) and crushing Tulane on the boards 41-16.
“The only thing I’m disappointed in is there were too many turnovers. Everything else was great,” Mississippi State coach Ben Howland said.
Iverson Molinar and Reggie Perry combined to score 39 points on 13-of-16 shooting for the Bulldogs (5-0), while Tyson Carter added 16 points and 11 boards. Carter was one of six MSU players with at least three rebounds, which matched the individual high for Tulane (3-1).
“As long as I’ve been coaching, I’ve never been in a situation where the rebound situation was like that,” Tulane coach Ron Hunter said. “We were absolutely dominated. You just aren’t going to win many games that way.”
Baylor 76, Ohio 53: When the score tightened up, the Baylor Bears showed why they are ranked in the Top 25.
After Ohio cut Baylor’s 18-point lead down to nine with still eight minutes to play, Baylor (3-1) responded by ripping off 15 unanswered points and holding the Bobcats (3-2) scoreless for nearly six minutes.
“Good teams bend but don’t break,” Ohio coach Jeff Boals said. “When it got to nine, they called a timeout and kept their composure. That’s what great teams do. They came out, turned the heat up on us, and we couldn’t sustain it.”
Baylor guard Jared Butler scored eight points and made three steals during the Bears’ final run. For the game, Butler had 19 points, five steals, five assists and four rebounds, while Macio Teague added 17 points and four boards.
“We’re still learning and developing chemistry, so any adversity we go through is good,” Teague said. “We’d rather learn now than later.”