Essam Mostafa, Coastal Carolina basketball

Coastal Carolina basketball didn’t have any trouble with the Gamecocks, winning 80-56.

Coastal Carolina basketball entered as a six-point underdog against South Carolina but took control of the game early and never looked back. Once Garrick Green hit a three to put the Chanticleers up 5-3, they never trailed again in what turned into a blowout victory against the Gamecocks.

Takeaway #1: Making the “Mostafa” Opportunity

Sophomore Essam Mostafa feasted on the South Carolina frontcourt Wednesday night, scoring 23 points to go along with 13 rebounds, 5 of which were offensive. The Gamecocks had no answer for the 6-foot-9 center, as he got to the line an astonishing 16 times, converting 11 times. This is just another stellar showing for the Egyptian, who came in averaging 18.5 points and 10.5 boards.

Takeaway #2: ‘Cock offense non-existent

South Carolina could not find an offensive identity for nearly the entire game. Despite scoring 35 points in the first half after a 17-5 run to end the half, the second half was a complete meltdown, scoring just 4 points in the first 6 minutes of the half. This was part of a 24-4 Coastal run that put the Chanticleers up by 21 and the game out of reach. While the South Carolina offense had looked streaky all year, this showing was the worst of the year for Frank Martin’s squad.

Takeaway #3: First half fire from Williams

Coastal Carolina basketball guard Rudi Williams was lights out in the first half, scoring 15 points and not missing a shot from the field. After Devante’ Jones’s transfer to Michigan, the Chants needed a new guard identity in Conway. Williams has stepped up, averaging 13.5 points per game, and brought his A-game against South Carolina Wednesday night. He’ll look to keep up his stellar play against Winthrop on Saturday.

While Coastal Carolina basketball impressed and certainly dominated Wednesday, the main takeaway from the in-state showdown is the liability which is the South Carolina offense. Despite coming into the game with a 5-1 record, the offensive side of the ball had looked suspect all season. It was completely exposed in the Gamecocks’ first true road game of the year.

If Frank Martin’s team wants any hope of making the tournament or even being competitive in a deep SEC conference, serious changes are needed. The next matchup against Georgetown should be a good barometer for their offense. Coastal Carolina’s win was their biggest of the season against D-1 competition and should provide them with some much-needed momentum heading into a stretch of games against 3 tough opponents. This team should be near the top of the Sun Belt again this season.

 

Featured image from WMFB News

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