Coastal Carolina

Coastal Carolina athletes record best semester ever in the classroom

Quarterback Josh Stilley was one of four Coastal Carolina athletes to graduate in December with honors. Stilley earned a degree in finance with magna cum laude honors.
Quarterback Josh Stilley was one of four Coastal Carolina athletes to graduate in December with honors. Stilley earned a degree in finance with magna cum laude honors. file photo

Coastal Carolina athletes are excelling in the classroom like never before.

A record 264 student-athletes posted at least a 3.0 grade-point average (GPA) for the fall 2017 semester, including a record 129 who earned Dean’s List honors and another 48 who had a perfect 4.0 GPA to receive President’s List recognition.

The women’s tennis team was the most impressive group, with all nine members earning either President’s List (four) or Dean’s List (five). Seven women’s golfers had at least a 3.0 GPA – including five on the President’s or Dean’s lists – while six of the seven men’s golf team members had at least a 3.0 GPA for the semester.

Other outstanding team performances include:

▪  Football: 45 members posted at least a 3.0, including a department-best 21 earning Dean’s List.

▪  Baseball: 31 members posted at least a 3.0, including 17 earning President’s or Dean’s List.

▪  Softball: 19 of its 20 members had at least a 3.0, 15 earning either President’s or Dean’s List.

▪  Lacrosse: 31 of its 36 members had at least a 3.0, 27 earning either President’s or Dean’s list with a department-best seven earning President’s List.

▪  Men’s Tennis: six of its eight members had at least a 3.0, including three that earned President’s List.

▪  Volleyball/Beach Volleyball: 16 of its 20 combined members had at least a 3.0.

▪  Women’s Soccer: 22 of its 25 members had at least a 3.0, 18 earning either President’s or Dean’s List.

A total of 20 CCU athletes graduated this past December, including four with honors: Jas Adams (women’s basketball, cum laude), Josh Stilley (football, magna cum laude), Casey Schroeder (baseball, summa cum laude) and Natasa Savovic (indoor/beach volleyball, magna cum laude). An additional seven received their Master’s degrees.

The previous record for CCU student-athletes receiving at least a 3.0 for a semester was 261 in the fall of 2015 while the previous mark for most earning Dean’s List was 126 that same semester.

Basketball recap

Coastal’s men’s and women’s basketball teams came limping back home from a fruitless first Sun Belt Conference road trip this past weekend, as both lost a pair of games to Louisiana-Monroe and Louisiana-Lafayette.

The losses drop the CCU men (7-10) to 1-3 in the conference and the women (8-7) to 2-2.

Both return to action Thursday in a doubleheader against Georgia Southern, the women playing the Eagles (3-12, 0-4) at 5 p.m. and the men facing GSU (12-5, 3-1) at 7:30 p.m.

The CCU men have dropped three straight games since opening conference play with a 25-point win over preseason conference favorite Texas-Arlington, and haven’t held a lead at any point in those three losses – 53-48 to Texas State, 82-72 to UL-Monroe and 81-64 to conference-leading UL-Lafayette, which is 14-3 overall and 4-0 in the Sun Belt.

Poor shooting and turnovers have hurt the Chants, who have shot 40, 44 and 32.6 percent from the field in the past three games with 54 turnovers, including 23 against UL-Monroe.

Junior forward Zac Cuthbertson scored 36 points in the two games last weekend, senior guard Jaylen Shaw posted 29 points and 11 assists, and senior forward Demario Beck contributed 28 points and 16 rebounds.

The CCU women had won three consecutive games before losses of 62-56 to UL-Monroe and 59-55 to UL-Lafayette. The Chants erased a 17-point deficit at Monroe and cut a 15-point deficit to three points at Lafayette but were unable to complete the comebacks.

Senior Jas Adams scored 29 points in the two losses combined, D.J. Williams dished out 10 combined assists, Naheria Hamilton recorded her third double-double of the season with 11 points and 12 rebounds against Monroe, and freshman Kaylin West led CCU in scoring at Monroe with 13 points.

CCU’s teams end a two-game homestand on Saturday against Georgia State with a women’s game at 1 p.m. and men’s game at 3:30 p.m.

Adams doubles up

Jas Adams was named the Sun Belt Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week on Jan. 2 for the second time this season and second time in succession. She also earned the award on Dec. 8.

Adams was acknowledged for averaging a team-leading 20.3 points and ranking second on the team with 7.3 rebounds per game to lead Coastal to a 3-1 record over a four-game span.

She scored at least 17 points in all four games, including 22 versus Texas-Arlington and 24 against Texas State to help lead Coastal start Sun Belt play 2-0. She was also the team's leading shooter, averaging 44 percent from the field, 46 percent from three-point range and 88 percent from the free throw line.

ESPN exposure

For a fourth straight year, the Sun Belt Conference has its largest television and digital package for men’s and women’s basketball on the ESPN family of networks.

A total of 148 games are set for live telecasts on ESPN3 with availability on the ESPN app, with four additional games airing live on ESPN2.

Select regular season games as well as all games of the men’s and women’s basketball championship from March 6-12 will be aired on ESPN3, while three regular season men’s games and the championship game of the men’s basketball tournament will air on ESPN2. The title game will air at 2 p.m. on March 11, which is Selection Sunday.

CCU was featured in one of the regular-season games in its conference-opening win against Texas-Arlington. Member institutions will deliver 116 men’s and women’s games through on-campus productions on ESPN3 as part of an increased commitment to student and faculty managed live-game production on Sun Belt campuses.

ESPN3 is accessible on computers, smartphones, tablets and streaming devices through WatchESPN.

CCU’s women’s and men’s games at 1 and 3:30 p.m. Saturday against Georgia State will be on ESPN3.

Alan Blondin: 843-626-0284, @alanblondin