CONWAY, S.C. (AP) — Keishawn Brewton scored 22 points and hit six 3-pointers, and Coastal Carolina beat Utah 79-57 on Thursday night in a Myrtle Beach Invitational quarterfinal.
Ebrima Dibba added 19 points, DeVante’ Jones had 16 points and Garrick Green finished with 12 for the Chanticleers (3-2). Playing on their home court, they shot 45%, hit 11 3-pointers and pulled away midway through the second half with a Brewton-led 26-9 run.
“It was one of those games that was a statement win for us,” Coastal Carolina coach Cliff Ellis said. “At the same point in time we know we’ve got 80 more minutes of basketball. The big test now is we have to put this one behind. At some point we’ll enjoy it but we’ve got Baylor (Friday).”
Timmy Allen had 15 points for the Utes (3-1), who never led outside of the opening 6 minutes but pulled to 44-38 on Jaxon Brenchley’s layup with 16½ minutes remaining.
Brewton hit four 3s during that game-breaking run, which Dibba capped with a free throw that made it 70-47 with 5:53 to play.
“We know what he can do,” Jones said of Brewton. “He’s a 3-point shooter and can also make plays off the bounce and he did that tonight. This is the beginning for us.”
Utah — which entered shooting 40% from 3-point range — shot just 18% from long distance and matched a season low with five of them. The Utes shot just 25% in the second half.
Coastal Carolina: The Chanticleers looked right at home playing on their home floor — especially Brewton, a junior college transfer who’s making an immediate impact with his new team after scoring 24 in the opening loss to Campbell. Coastal Carolina shot 50% in the second half and made the most of their takeaways, turning 15 Utah turnovers into 19 points.
Utah: It’s hard to sugarcoat this loss for a young Utes team that started 3-0 with solid wins at Nevada and against Minnesota and set the school’s single-game scoring record with 143 points against Mississippi Valley State. Both Gach, who averages 17.7 points, finished with five on 2-of-11 shooting.
“The only way you get experience is time,” Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said. “The only way you heal when you’re mourning over somebody’s death is time. You can’t speed it up, you’ve got to live it and you go through and you chalk and your team hopefully grows if they’re made of the right stuff.”
Coastal Carolina: Faces No. 24 Baylor on Friday in a semifinal.
Utah: Will play Ohio on Friday in a consolation game.
More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25