KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Seniors Andrew Goudelock (Stone Mountain, Ga.) and Donavan Monroe (Waxhaw, N.C.) combined for 58 points to lead College of Charleston to a 91-78 upset of 2010 NCAA Elite Eight participant Tennessee Friday afternoon before a crowd of 17,794 orange-clad fans at Thompson-Boling Arena.
The Cougars (9-4) claimed their first road victory at a major conference school since 1995, ironically a 55-49 win over UT in the very same venue in the NIT first round. Goudelock, Monroe and Co. couldn't miss from any part of the floor as CofC silenced the building with its long-range shooting ability knocking down nine of its season-high 14 three-pointers in the ballgame in a first half that seemed to rattle the Volunteers (9-4) – and they were never the same for the rest of the way.
The Cougars led by as many as 20 points at the 9:02 minute mark on a three by Goudelock, 32-15. He turned in a game-high 31 points and recorded his 2,000th career point with a three-pointer over UT's Melvin Goins with 11:58 to go. Goudelock didn't find a shot he didn't like, going 10-of-15 from the floor, 6-of-7 from three-point land and 5-of-6 from the free throw line. Monroe added 27.
UT, who was ranked as high as No. 7 in both national polls after wins over Villanova and Pittsburgh, lost their third non-conference home game in December, only the fifth such loss in Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl's six seasons. He was ejected after picking up his second technical foul with 5:25 remaining in regulation and the Cougars stayed composed as Goudelock drained 3-of-4 charity makes to push the lead to 79-63.
Junior Antwaine Wiggins (Greeneville, Tenn.), who returned home to the Volunteer State, played with extra motivation in front of a hometown crowd of family and high school friends with back-to-back three-pointers to open the game on a 6-2 run for the Cougars. Wiggins and Goudelock went 5-for-5 from beyond the arc in the first five minutes of play. Wiggins and senior Jeremy Simmons (Lithonia, Ga.) contributed to the balanced scoring attack with 15 and 11 points respectively.
The Cougars responded well to a motivational speech given by former CofC star and NBA player Anthony Johnson (1993-97) on Wednesday during practice at Carolina First Arena, who emphasized senior leadership and playing a zone defense. CofC would force UT to an opponent season-low 37.5 percent shooting from the floor (30-of-80) and 27.8 percent from downtown (5-of-18).
Scotty Hopson, who paced Tennessee with 24 points, scored 10-straight points to get the Vols within seven, 37-30, with 5:15 to go in the first half. They would cut it down to as few as five points after halftime, but never came closer. It was UT's worst home loss in double-digits since an 18-point loss to Kentucky in Southeastern Conference play in 2009.
Up next, the Cougars will ring in the New Year at 2010 CBI quarterfinalist Morehead State (8-6) for a Sunday, Jan. 2 road contest at 4:30 p.m. (ET) in Morehead, Ky. The game can be heard live on the radio on ESPN 910 AM in Charleston or online at www.charlestonsportsradio.com.
• For the 11th time this season, CofC used the starting five of senior Donavan Monroe, senior Andrew Goudelock, junior Antwaine Wiggins, sophomore Willis Hall and senior Jeremy Simmons (7-4).
• With the win, the Cougars take a 2-1 lead in the all-time series with Tennessee. Both of their wins in the series have been won on the road in Knoxville next to a 55-49 victory in the first round of the Postseason NIT on March 13, 1995 under former head coach John Kresse at Thompson-Boling Arena. Ironically, it was the last time CofC beat a major conference opponent on the road on their home court. The Cougars avenged a 17-point loss (69-86) to UT a year ago on Nov. 27, 2009.
• CofC claimed only its fourth all-time win in 17 tries versus a school hailing from the SEC. Two of the four have been against the Volunteers (road) along with Alabama (neutral) and South Carolina (home).
• Andrew Goudelock recorded his 2,000th career point at the 11:58 minute mark in the second half of play with a three-pointer over Tennessee's Melvin Goins. He scored a game-high 31 points and has now registered 2,007 career points to date and becomes only the second CofC player in school history to gain entrance into the 2,000-Point Club behind all-time leading scorer Ken Gustafson (2,135). In addition, Goudelock is only the second player in the last decade of Southern Conference history to record 2,000 career points next to former Davidson All-American Stephen Curry, who scored a conference-record 2,635 career points from 2007-09. He extended his double-digit scoring streak to 13-straight games and turned in his third career 30-point game. It also marked a career-best against Tennessee as he scored only 11 points in last year's loss in Knoxville.
• Donavan Monroe added 24 points in the winning effort and tied a career-high with four three-pointers versus the Vols. It marked his second career 20-point game. He led CofC last year with 16 points in Knoxville. Monroe has now registered 1,076 career points to date which ranks 26th all-time in the CofC record books.
• The Cougars drained a season-high nine first-half three-pointers versus the Vols. They previously had five in the first half at Maryland on Nov. 10 and five against East Tennessee State in the first half on Dec. 7. CofC made a season-best 14 for the game which ties for seventh-most threes in a single game in school history.
• CofC led at the half for the eighth time this year and is 7-1 when doing so. The Cougars scored 47 first-half points which was the second most this season next to 52 first-half points at Holy Cross on Nov. 13. Their final 91 points were the third-most this season behind 93 at Holy Cross and 92 against Georgia Southern on Dec. 4.
• Former CofC standout Stacy Harris (1994-97) was in attendance at the Tennessee game and joined play-by-play announcer Jeff McCarragher and color analyst Everett German at halftime on the radio broadcast.
• The Cougars handed the Vols their largest loss of the season (+13). They had previously lost by seven points or less to Oakland (-7), UNC Charlotte (-1) and Southern California (-1). It was UT's biggest loss at home since an 18-point setback in SEC play versus Kentucky on Jan. 13, 2009.
• The CofC defense held Tennessee to an opponent season-low 37.5 percent shooting from the floor (30-of-80). The Vols also shot a dismal 27.8 percent from beyond the arc (5-of-18).
College of Charleston Head Coach Bobby Cremins
On the game …
"Donavan Monroe was sensational. Antwaine Wiggins got us off to a great start and Andrew Goudelock is something else. We just played one heck of a game. I'm proud of our kids and our program. For us to come up here and play like this, says a lot, especially after getting beat up last year (by Tennessee). I'm very fortunate to coach players like Goudelock, Monroe and Jeremy Simmons. We have some great seniors. We made some incredible shots. The way we played today – we could beat anyone in the country. I wish we could play like that all of the time. We just have to keep playing well, because we will face a tough Morehead State team on Sunday."
College of Charleston Senior Guard Andrew Goudelock
On recording his 2,000th career point …
"It feels great to accomplish things in your college career that you never thought you would accomplish. You dream about it, but you don't know how feasible it is. For me, I'm very grateful and for us to get the win, it's a great honor. I'm just pleased with our program, our players and our coaches – we are doing a great job right now and we are going to keep on fighting."
On his hot shooting performance …
"Whenever I shoot, I never feel like I'm going to miss a shot. I always shoot with confidence. I just try to stay focused in these types of environments (in big games). Luckily tonight, I was hitting shots."
On the road victory …
"Everybody did well. We played great collectively. Willis Hall may have scored one point, but he played great. He just did the little things for us – getting rebounds and fighting down in the post. We are an undersized team and we only play with seven players, but we do a great job of hustling and making up for it in other ways. I'm happy with how hard we fought today. We kept fighting even when they were making their runs and came out with the win, which is the most important thing. It's very important to get these types of wins, especially on the road, for our confidence and our program."