Shorthanded Chants win Big South opener

Sam McLaurin had a career high 19 points and 15 rebounds, and Chris Gradnigo and Anthony Raffa combined for 45 points in Coastal Carolina's 87-78 win over VMI at Kimbel Arena on Tuesday night. The Chanticleers led the game wire to wire building a 12 point halftime lead.

CCU used strong perimeter defense to hold VMI to 26 first half points. The Keydets never got closer than 7 points in the second half as Coastal scored its seventh consecutive win against VMI. McLaurin was 8 of 11 from the floor and nearly matched his 16 rebound effort against LSU. Gradnigo had 22 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists. Raffa had 23 points as he continues to handle point guard duties with Kierre Greenwood on the shelf. Greenwood missed his second straight game with a calf injury and is listed as day to day. Jon Pack continues to play with dislocated fingers and was limited to 15 minutes of action. The Chanticleers outrebounded VMI 50-29. Stan Okoye paced the Keydets with 25 points.

Coastal improves to 6-1, 1-0 in Big South play. The Chanticleers take on Liberty on Saturday followed by a road game in Charleston against the Citadel on Tuesday night. Following those two games, Coastal gets a ten day break for final exams. Coach Ellis looks forward to the break to get his team back to full strength.