Trojan defense stifles Chanticleers in dominating road win

Local Sports

CONWAY, S.C. (News release) – Little Rock’s defensive effort confounded Coastal Carolina all night as the Trojans never trailed, dominating the Chanticleers 71-55 at the HTC Center. The win keeps Little Rock in a tie for first place in the Sun Belt Conference, upping its record to 12-7 overall and 6-2 in league play.

Game Notes

• Little Rock never trailed against Coastal Carolina, holding the lead for 39:24 and maintaining a double-digit lead for the final 14:51. The Trojans led by as many as 20 at 67-47, their third-largest advantage of the season.

• Coastal Carolina was limited to 55 points, nearly 26 points under their season average of 80.4. It is the Chanticleers lowest point total of the season and the third lowest point total of the season against the Trojans in 2019-20.

• Little Rock shot 50.9% from the floor, and 53.6% in the second half, while connecting on 7-of-18 from three-point range. The Trojans held the Chanticleers to 31.5% from the floor as Coastal Carolina made just five of its 25 three point attempts.

• Five Trojans finished in double figures, matching its largest offensive production of the season. Jaizec Lottie led all players with 17 points, tying his career-high, going 7-of-11 from the floor with eight rebounds and a season-high seven assists.

• Ruot Monyyong notched his seventh-straight double-double and 11th of the season, finishing with 11 points and 15 rebounds with a career-high seven blocks. The seven blocks is the most for a Trojan since Muntrelle Dobbins in 1996-97 and the 10 blocks as a team was three off the program single-game best, set in 1975.

• Nikola Maric notched a season-high 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting with six rebounds and a pair of blocks, playing 20 minutes off the bench.

• Ben Coupet Jr. added 10 points as well to go along with five rebounds, as did Marko Lukic off the bench, going 4-for-8 from the floor with a pair of threes and two assists.

• Little Rock outrebounded Coastal Carolina 43-41 on the night, including 18-9 on the offensive glass to lead to an 11-0 advantage in second chance points.

• Markquis Nowell saw his first action since leaving the game with an injury in the final minutes against Georgia Southern on January 6. Nowell played four minutes and dished out a pair of assists.

• The win was Little Rock’s first-ever against Coastal Carolina in six meetings and the Trojans’ first win in the state of South Carolina. It also marks Little Rock’s first win in the Eastern time zone since January of 2017, snapping a nine-game skid.

First Half Notes

• Little Rock opened up with a quick start in Conway, racing out to an 11-4 lead at the first media timeout. Coupet knocked down a pair of threes and Monyyong posted five rebounds in the first five minutes as the Trojans held the Chanticleers to just 2-of-11 from the floor.

• The Trojan run reached 8-0 in the opening half off a layup from Lottie, giving him seven points early, as Little Rock held Coastal Carolina off the scoreboard for over four minutes. Little Rock opened a nine point advantage at 13-4 despite making just five of its first 13 shots.

• Nowell checked in following the second media timeout, his first appearance since leaving the game in the closing minutes against Georgia Southern on January 6. Maric notched three straight points off an assist from Nowell, helping the Trojans extend their lead to 10 at 18-8 with just under nine minutes remaining.

• The Trojans maintained a nine point lead at 23-14 before Coastal knocked down its first three of the night at the 4:40 mark with Little Rock forcing the Chanticleers to miss their first eight attempts. A dunk from Monyyong at the 4:02 mark helped the Trojans build a 25-17 at the final media timeout of the first half.

• In the closing minutes of the half, Little Rock used an 8-0 run, holding Coastal Carolina off the board for over four minutes, building a 31-17 lead with just under a minute remaining. The Trojans forced seven Chanticleer turnovers over a five minute span, helping to spark the run.

• After allowing a long three, Lottie ended the half with a jumper to give the Trojans the 33-20 lead at the break. He lead the Trojans with 11 points at the break while Monyyong added 10 rebounds with a pair of blocks.

• Little Rock took a 33-20 lead into the break, shooting 48.1 % from the floor while holding Coastal Carolina to just 23.7% shooting and 2-for-13 from three point range. The Trojans also forced the Chanticleers into 11 first half turnovers, leading to a 12-2 edge in fast break points.

Second Half Notes

• Coastal Carolina opened the second half scoring seven of the first 10 points over the first three minutes, getting to within nine at 36-27. The lone basket for the Trojans was a three pointer from Monyyong to tie Little Rock’s largest lead of the night of 14 at 36-22.

• Monyyong helped Little Rock maintain its advantage, knocking down a pair of threes and sandwiching a layup from Coupet to push the Little Rock lead back to 13 at 41-30 with 14:17 remaining. He had a rebound, a block and a steal during the run as well.

• The run extended to 8-0 thanks to five-straight points from Maric over a 30 second span. Little Rock’s stretch helped it build its lead to 16 at 46-30 with 13:22 remaining in the game. A long jumper from Lukic pushed the run to 10-2 and a 48-32 advantage at the 11:51 mark.

• The Trojan defense continued to frustrate Coastal Carolina’s three point shooting while the Little Rock big men connected from beyond the arc. A three from Maric helped spark a 7-2 Trojan run over a minute and a half to extend the lead to 57-40 at the 8:00 mark.

• Little Rock’s defensive effort continued to keep the Chanticleers at bay, forcing three turnovers over a two minute span. The Trojans took a 62-47 lead into the final media timeout with four different players scoring over a three minute span.

• The lead was never in doubt over the final stretch as Coastal Carolina didn’t get to within 10 over the final 14:51 as the Trojans closed out the second half shooting 53.6% from the floor, including hitting five of their 11 three point attempts.

Up Next

•Little Rock’s road swing continues to Boone, North Carolina for a meeting with Appalachian State on Saturday, January 18. Opening tip against the Mountaineers is set for 3:30 p.m. CT and will stream live on ESPN+.

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