WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Follow our sports on twitter at @wwaysports
Note: Elijah Wilson, mentioned below, is a Laney High graduate. Click the video icon to see game highlights. Video will be loaded by 11:40pm
CONWAY, SC (CCU) -- For the first time in 21 years the Coastal Carolina University men's basketball team is heading to the NCAA Tournament following a 76-61 victory in the VisitMyrtleBeach.com Big South Conference Championship game over in-state rival Winthrop University. The conference championship is the first for the Chanticleers since 1991 and the NCAA Tournament berth is the first since 1993.
Head coach Cliff Ellis, who won his first conference tournament title, becomes just the 10th coach in NCAA Division I history to lead four different programs to the NCAA Tournament. He joins an elite group that includes Rick Pitino, Eddie Sutton and Tubby Smith. The win also marks coach Ellis' 668 career victory which moves him into a tie with former Maryland head coach Gary Williams for 27th all-time in career victories.
Ellis will be leading a team to the "Big Dance" for the ninth time after taking South Alabama twice (1979 and 1980), Clemson three times (1987, 1989 and 1990) and Auburn three times (1999, 2000 and 2003).
All information regarding ticket, hotel and travel related to the NCAA tournament will be released on GoCCUSports.com on Tuesday at 5 pm. This also includes location information regarding an NCAA Tournament Selection Show viewing party on Sunday, March 16 from 5-7 pm.
Coastal Carolina (21-12) led nearly from start to finish while capturing its third Big South Championship title. The Chanticleers shot 58.3 percent (28-of-48) for the contest, helping them avenge two regular-season defeats to Winthrop (20-13) in front of a boisterous home crowd.
Coastal also becomes the first one-site host of the conference tournament to win the title since Winthrop in 1988.
CCU got major contributions from all five of its starters, paced by Tournament MVP Warren Gillis, who scored a game-high 22 points and tied his career high with seven assists. Backcourt mate Josh Cameron finished with 19 points, wrapping up the tournament with a team-high 18.7 ppg and earning a spot on the All-Tournament team.
Badou Diagne chipped in 17 points and seven rebounds, Elijah Wilson scored all 12 of his points after halftime and El Hadji Ndieguene pulled down a game-high 10 boards for the Chanticleers.
The Eagles' run of three tournament victories in four days fell one game short of the title, as Winthrop lost for just the second time in 12 Big South Championship title game appearances all-time. The Eagles shot just 32.2 percent (19-of-59) from the floor and 30.8 percent (8-of-26) from three-point range.
Redshirt junior Keon Moore, who scored a team-high 19 points on Sunday and averaged 19.0 ppg during the Eagles' four tournament tilts, represented Winthrop on the All-Tournament team. He was joined in double-digits in the title game by teammate Joab Jerome (13 points).
The remainder of the All-Tournament team consisted of UNC Asheville redshirt senior center D.J. Cunningham and Gardner-Webb sophomore forward Jerome Hill.
Coastal Carolina scored eight straight points early in the second half, bolstering its lead to 15 (42-27) on Cameron's steal and layup with 17:20 to play.
The Chanticleer advantage reached 18 points (57-39) with 9:41 to play, when Wilson's layup punctuated a 7-0 burst.
Back-to-back triples by Moore and Andre Smith sparked an 8-0 Winthrop run, trimming the Eagles' deficit to 61-52 at the 4:38 mark.
That's as close as Winthrop would get, as Coastal Carolina closed out its most comfortable win of the tournament. The Chanticleers needed double-overtime to post a 73-68 quarterfinal victory over Charleston Southern on Friday before holding off VMI by a 66-62 count in Saturday's semifinal tilt.
Coastal Carolina made five of its first six field goal attempts, racing out to a quick 12-6 advantage to start the matinee.
Winthrop's only lead came at the 11:20 mark of the opening half, when Smith's 3-pointer in transition made it 17-16 in favor of the Eagles. It was the junior guard's first hoop since his dramatic game-winning triple at the buzzer of Friday's 62-60 quarterfinal win over High Point.
After Smith's trifecta, Winthrop did not make another field goal for 7:03. During that span, Coastal Carolina went on a 12-0 run. Cameron scored seven points during the surge, including a mid-range jumper that gave the Chanticleers a 28-18 edge 5:09 before halftime.
Winthrop got back within four (28-24) on Tevin Prescott's dunk at 2:24, before the Chanticleers tallied the last six points of the half. Back-to-back Gillis layups sent the home team to halftime with a 34-24 lead.
WILMINGTON, NC (UNCW) -– VCU’s JoJo Howie tossed a complete game in the night cap and the Rams plated eight runs in the top of the ninth in the opener to sweep UNCW, 14-8 and 4-2, on Sunday at Brooks Field.
The Rams, who had their seven-game winning streak snapped on Saturday in a 4-2 loss, rebounded to raise their record to 12-2. The Seahawks, meanwhile, dropped to 6-8 with the twinbill sweep. Howie (2-0) struck out a career-high nine batters and allowed two runs on nine hits and three walks in picking up the win. Reliever Michael Carpenter (1-0) was the recipient of the ninth-inning outburst to earn his first win of the season.
Christian MacDonald (0-1) suffered the loss in the opener, allowing four runs, three earned, over two-plus innings of relief. In game two, Ryan Foster (0-1) was the hard-luck loser after allowing four unearned runs over 6.2 innings.
How it happened (Game 1): Leading 8-6 in the ninth, MacDonald opened the frame with a walk, hit batter and the committed an error on a sac bunt. William Prince came on in relief and was greeted by Joey Cujas with a two-run double to left that ignited the outburst. Bill Cullen added a two-run homer later in the inning as 13 batters made their way to the plate.
How it happened (Game 2): VCU plated a run in the fifth and two more in the sixth to break a 11-all deadlock. In the fifth, VCU landed its leadoff hitter on safely following a UNCW error. That runner would come around to break the tie on a single off the bat of Nick Octavi, who finished with two hits. It was another error in the sixth, this time with two out that spurred VCU. Logan Farrar plated the first run for a 3-1 lead with a single and Trevor Marino laid down a squeeze bunt one batter later to make it 4-1.
Notes: It was the first series loss to VCU for UNCW since 2006 in Richmond and the first since 2002 at Brooks Field … The loss in the opener halted a seven-game winning streak against VCU … Corey Dick extended his hitting streak to 10 games while Terence Connelly and Dick pushed their on base streaks to 10 games each … for UNCW’s Ryan Foster, he went a career-long 6.2 innings … Teddy Cillis connected on his first career homer for UNCW in the opener, a three-run shot in the fourth … Luke Dunlap went 5-for7 on the afternoon and raised his average to .250 after entering the day at .050.
Up next: The Seahawks continue their seven-game homestand on Nov. 12 against UNC Greensboro. First-pitch is slated for 4 p.m.
BALTIMORE, MD (CAA) -- (March 9, 2014) Junior guard Marcus Thornton scored a game high 21 points including the final four of the game to lead third-seeded William & Mary (20-11) to a 75-71 victory over second-seeded Towson (23-10) in the semifinals of the CAA Men’s Basketball Championship on Sunday afternoon at the Baltimore Arena.
William & Mary earned its third trip to the CAA championship game in the past seven years and will seek its first title Monday night when the Tribe takes on top-seeded Delaware, an 87-74 winner over Northeastern in Sunday’s other semifinal. A victory over the Blue Hens would send the Tribe to their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Neither the Tribe nor Tigers could gain much of an advantage for very long in the opening period. There were 10 ties and eight lead changes in the first half.
The Tribe jumped off to a 5-0 start for its biggest lead in the first 20 minutes. With 2:28 left two Mike Burwell free throws put Towson ahead 35-29 for its largest lead but subsequent three-point baskets by senior guard Julian Boatner and Thornton, who added a free throw for the four-point play, gave the edge right back to the Tribe, 36-35. Towson sophomore forward Timajh Parker-Rivera ended the scoring with a free throw to send the two teams into the locker room deadlocked at 36-36.
William & Mary opened the second half in a similar fashion, sprinting to an early eight-point (48-40) lead that Towson spent the second half trying to erase but never could. The Tigers pulled to within one twice; on a Rafriel Guthrie layup (59-58) at the 7:14 mark and on one made Parker-Rivera free throw (71-70) with 2:40 remaining. But the Tribe had an answer each time with freshman guard Omar Prewitt banking a three-pointer and Thornton dropping a short jumper in the lane with 2:23 left on the clock.
Down 73-70 Guthrie hit the front end of a one-and-one but missed the bonus with 2:08 to play, ending the scoring for Towson.
The Tigers had a last gasp when they got a reprieve on an out-of-bounds call, giving them possession under their bucket with 18.1 seconds remaining. But Towson turned it over with 5.5 seconds left. Thornton was fouled on the inbounds play, and sank both of his tries to give the Tribe their semifinal victory.
Thornton’s 21-point production showed the way for four Tribe players in double figures including senior guard Brandon Britt with 16, senior forward Kyle Gaillard with 12 and senior forward Tim Rusthoven with 10.
The Tigers, who ended their season with a Division I program record 23 wins, was led by senior forward Jerrelle Benimon with 18 points. The national leader in double-doubles, Benimon grabbed just five rebounds. Burwell added 17 and Guthrie 13.
WILMINGTON, NC (UNCW) -– The UNCW softball team completed a three-game sweep of North Carolina Central as it took both games of a non-conference doubleheader Sunday at Boseman Field.
The Seahawks posted an 11-3 victory in the opener and out-lasted the Eagles, 6-3, in the nightcap to improve to 11-8 on the season. The Eagles, meanwhile, slipped to 0-15 on the campaign.
UP NEXT: UNCW continues its 18-game homestand Tuesday as it opens a three-game series against Youngstown State with a 3 p.m. doubleheader at Boseman Field.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Game One): UNCW raced out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first, using four hits, including back-to-back triples from freshman Merritt Wilkinson and senior Brittany Gamby, to build the early cushion.
The two teams exchanged runs in the fourth as NC Central used a leadoff triple by sophomore De’Onna Smith and a wild pitch to make it a 4-1 contest, only to see the Seahawks plate two runs on a bases-loaded single from freshman pinch hitter Claudia Spinelli to push the UNCW margin to 6-1.
A two-run home run from junior Emerie Germ in the top of the fifth pulled the Eagles within three, 6-3, but the Seahawks brought home four runs on two hits and three NC Central errors in the bottom half of the frame to expand their advantage to 10-3.
Junior Jessica Rappe closed out the scoring in the bottom of the sixth, using a sacrifice fly to plate sophomore pinch runner Taylor Matkins and evoke the eight-run mercy rule.
AT THE PLATE (Game One): Senior Morgan Ayers went 2-for-2 with a RBI and two runs scored to lead a UNCW attack that finished with 10 hits in the contest. Senior Brittany Gamby was 2-for-4 while junior Jessica Rappe drove in two runs.
Germ, Smith and redshirt freshman Jenny Tracy both tallied two hits apiece to pace an Eagles lineup that finished with seven base knocks. Germ recorded both of NCCU’s RBI in the contest as she hit her first home run of the season.
IN THE CIRCLE (Game One): Freshman Peyton Jordan picked up the victory to even her record at 5-5. Jordan allowed three runs on seven hits as she struck out six as the pitched all six innings for the Seahawks.
Sophomore London Booker took the loss for the Eagles to move to 0-8 on the season. In four innings, Booker surrendered six runs on seven hits and three walks. Freshman Brianna Hampton replaced Booker in the fifth, giving up five runs (two earned) on three hits and one walk
INSIDE THE BOXSCORE (Game One): The two teams combined to leave just 10 runners on base (NCCU 6, UNCW 4) … The teams combined for five extra-base hits, including three triples … Eight different players recorded a hit in the contest for the Seahawks while the Eagles had four players combine for their seven base knocks … The Eagles committed four errors in the contest, compared to just one miscue for the Seahawks … The top seven hitters in the UNCW lineup scored at least one run in the contest.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Game Two): Freshman Nella Chamblee put the Seahawks up 2-0 in the bottom of the second as she hit a two-run home run to left field to plate junior Casey Rowland, who reached base one batter earlier on a double off the left-field fence.
NC Central responded with a run in the top of the third on a RBI single by Emerie Germ to make it a 2-1 contest, but a single by Chamblee and a throwing error by the Eagles in the bottom half of the inning scored two runs for UNCW and made it a 4-1 contest.
The Eagles trimmed the UNCW margin to one in the top of the fifth, taking advantage of a Germ groundout and a run-scoring single from freshman Dominque Wilson to make it a 4-3 contest.
UNCW would regain its three-run advantage in the bottom of the sixth, using a RBI groundout by senior Casey Shue and a wild pitch to gain a 6-3 advantage.
AT THE PLATE (Game Two): Chamblee was 2-for-3 with three RBI to highlight a UNCW offense that recorded 10 hits in the contest. Gamby was 2-for-4 with one run scored while six players finished with one hit each.
London Germ was 3-for-4 with two runs scored to lead NCCU. Emerie Germ was 1-for-4 with two RBI as she was one of six Eagles players to record a base hit in the contest.
IN THE CIRCLE (Game Two): Rowland got the start for UNCW and pitched 3.1 innings, allowing one run on four hits and one walk while striking out five. Sophomore Kayla Pine replaced Rowland in the fourth and pitched the remaining 3.2 innings, surrendering two runs on four hits to pick up her first win of the season.
Wilson took the loss for the Eagles, allowing six runs (four earned) on 10 hits and three walks in six innings in the circle to move to 0-6 on the campaign.
INSIDE THE BOXSCORE (Game Two): The two teams combined to leave 15 runners on base (UNCW 9, NCCU 6) … The Seahawks had all three extra-base hits in the contest … The teams combined to put just the leadoff hitter on base in five of 13 tries in the contest … The Seahawks 4-through-9 hitters accounted for seven of the team’s 10 base hits while the Eagles top three hitters accounted for six of their eight base knocks … The Eagles were charged with all four errors in the contest.
NOTES: UNCW improved to 15-1 all-time against NC Central as it stretched its winning streak against the Eagles to five games … UNCW extended its streak of scoring a run in the first inning to 10 games with a four-run first inning in the opener, but saw that streak come to an end as it failed to plate a run in the opening frame of the nightcap … The Seahawks are now 9-3 at home this season … UNCW improved to 11-4 on the season when plating three or more runs in a contest … The Seahawks were not charged with an error in game two and improved to 5-0 this season when doing so … Freshman Merritt Wilkinson has now reached base safely in 10 straight contests … Senior Brittany Gamby ended the weekend with a four-game hitting streak as she posted her team-leading fifth and sixth multiple-hit games during the doubleheader … UNCW scored 10 or more runs for the third time this season with its 11 runs in the opener.
BALTIMORE, MD (CAA) – Delaware erupted in the second half and ran away from fifth-seeded Northeastern, 87-74 in the first semifinal contest of the 2014 CAA men's basketball championship on Sunday at Baltimore Arena.
The top-seeded Blue Hens (24-9) advanced to the CAA title game for the first time and will face either second-seeded Towson or third-seeded William & Mary at 7 p.m. on Monday night with a chance to hoist the league’s trophy.
Jarvis Threatt scored 19 points and grabbed a team-high 11 boards for a double-double and Davon Usher tallied 21 points in the victory. All five UD starters registered double-figures, including Devon Saddler, who had 19 points and nine assists, Kyle Anderson, who scored 10 points and Carl Baptiste, who supplied 14 in only 16 minutes of action.
Northeastern’s Scott Eatherton netted 20 points and grabbed eight boards and Reggie Spencer had 18 points and eight rebounds in defeat. The Huskies (11-21) beat fourth-seeded Drexel, 90-81, on Saturday, and made their fourth semifinal appearance and third in the last five years.
The Blue Hens, who captured their first regular-season title with a 14-2 conference mark, were ferocious in the second half, shooting 76 percent (19-of-25) from the floor, including 5-of-7 from behind the arc.
In the first half, Threatt and Usher combined for 23 points, scoring 11 and 12 apiece, respectively, to help UD stake a 39-37 advantage at the break. NU stayed within striking distance thanks to out-rebounding the Blue Hens 23-14, while Spencer and Eatherton combined for 16 points and 13 boards alone for the Huskies over the first 20 minutes.
The early potion of the final 20 minutes proved to be NU’s demise, as the Blue Hens rarely missed an opportunity or shot, for that matter. Anderson’s 3-pointer from the right wing with 11:19 remaining capped an impressive, 27-11 run which saw UD extend its edge to 18 (66-48).
From there, the hot-shooting Hens’ offense was able to outlast the Huskies, even stretching the lead as high as 22, before holding on down the line for the key win.
After a slow start hobbled the Hens in Saturday’s quarterfinals versus Hofstra, UD wasted little time on Sunday, racing out to a quick 19-5 lead seven-plus minutes into the action. Northeastern impressively responded, however, with its own 19-5 run to tie the game at 24-all following an old fashioned three-point play by Eatherton.
The rest of the first half was a back-and-forth affair, with neither team obtaining a lead greater than five points.
Northeastern now owns an 8-9 all-time record in CAA tournament play, while Eatherton ends his historic junior campaign with 19 double-doubles, two behind Towson’s Jerrelle Benimon for the NCAA Division I lead.
SATURDAY, MARCH 15, 2014
100th ANNUAL MEN’S NCHSAA BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
43rd ANNUAL WOMEN’S NCHSAA BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
DEAN E.SMITH CENTER--UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL
REYNOLDS COLISEUM – NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY, RALEIGH
CLASS AA women--noon
T.WINGATE ANDREWS HIGH SCHOOL RED RAIDERS (24-5) vs. BANDYS HIGH SCHOOL TROJANS (31-0)
CLASS AA men– 2:30 p.m.
KINSTON HIGH SCHOOL VIKINGS (25-4) vs. NORTH ROWAN HIGH SCHOOL CAVALIERS (22-5)
CLASS AAAA women – 5 p.m.
SOUTHEAST RALEIGH HIGH SCHOOL BULLDOGS (26-2) vs. MYERS PARK HIGH SCHOOL MUSTANGS (29-1)
CLASS AAAA men – 7:30 p.m.
APEX HIGH SCHOOL COUGARS (22-7) vs. LAKE NORMAN HIGH SCHOOL WILDCATS (28-1)
At Chapel Hill
CLASS A women– noon
RIVERSIDE HIGH SCHOOL KNIGHTS (29-0) vs. BISHOP MCGUINNESS HIGH SCHOOL LADY VILLAINS (28-4)
CLASS A men– 2:30 p.m.
EAST CARTERET HIGH SCHOOL MARINERS (31-0) vs. WINSTON-SALEM PREPARATORY PHOENIX (25-4)
CLASS AAA women – 5 p.m.
CHAPEL HILL HIGH SCHOOL TIGERS (31-0) vs. HICKORY HIGH SCHOOL RED TORNADOES (29-0)
CLASS AAA men—7:30 p.m.
JAMES B. HUNT HIGH SCHOOL WARRIORS (25-2) vs. FREEDOM HIGH SCHOOL PATRIOTS (30-1)