CONWAY: Coastal Carolina head men’s basketball coach Cliff Ellis recently celebrated his 77th birthday, and if his initial plans had come to fruition, Ellis would be in his third decade of retirement.
“I had planned to retire when I was fifty-five,” Ellis said on Saturday following Coastal’s 102-39 win over Regent. “I said I’m going to go to Florida, go to the beach, and I’m going to have me a miniature golf course and sit in the shade and enjoy it. And you know that didn’t happen.”
There are scores of basketball players across the country that are glad Ellis did not hang up his whistle in exchange for putters, felt grass, and windmills.
Included in that group is the current roster of Chanticleers, who helped Ellis achieve his 900th career victory in a blowout of the overmatched Royals from Virginia Beach, Virginia, at the HTC Center in Conway. After the game, those same players punctuated the milestone by dousing Ellis with enough water to soak through his teal blazer, all the way down to his feet. A celebration he clearly enjoyed.
CCU HC Cliff Ellis — Postgame Interview with Chris Burgin
Game Recap Courtesy of CCU Sports Information
Coastal Carolina University head men’s basketball coach Cliff Ellis picked up his 900th career win in CCU’s 102-39 victory over Regent University on Saturday afternoon at the HTC Center. With the win, Ellis becomes only the third active coach with 900 career wins, joining Jim Boeheim (Syracuse) and Bob Huggins (West Virginia).
The Chants struggled out of the gate and trailed 7-6 at the first media timeout. CCU then gained momentum coming out of the break to outscore the visitors 19-0 to push the lead out to 25-7 with 10 minutes left in the first half. They went on to lead 49-17 at the break.
For the first time this season, the Chants had six players reach double digits in pushing their record to 5-4 on the year.
Every CCU player recorded points in the blowout win, as the Chants finished the game shooting 53.1 percent from the field. CCU wasn’t quite as sharp on its three-point attempts, only hitting 3-of-18, and had their worse shooting performance of the season from the free throw line, connecting on just 13 of their 21 attempts for 61.9 percent.
Regent’s Stanley Adjei, who came into the game averaging 17.0 points per game, hit his scoring average with 17 points for the Royals. He hit a game-best four three-pointers while also grabbing six rebounds and recording two steals.
The Chants outrebounded Regent 53-33 and forced the Royals into 30 turnovers, which led directly to 43 CCU points. CCU added 20 assists on its 43 field goals and had a season-high 21 steals, which are the most steals by a CCU team since recording 24 back in 1990 against Erskine College.
Coastal is back on the road when the Chants travel for a return game with the University of South Dakota Coyotes on Wednesday, Dec. 14, at 9 p.m. ET in Vermillion, S.D. The two teams met back on Nov. 26 in Conway, with the Chants pulling out a late 66-59 victory.