Andrew Lawrence scored 17 of his 22 points in the second half to rally College of Charleston to a 71-67 victory over Boston College for seventh place in the ESPN Charleston Classic presented by Foster Grant on Sunday at TD Arena.
The Cougars (2-2) avoided going 0-3 on their home floor, using a 19-8 run to start the second half and take control. Lawrence began the surge with two three-point plays. Anthony Thomas had two straight driving layups as Charleston took the lead for good.
Boston College (1-3) got within a bucket several times down the stretch, the last on Olivier Hanlan's foul shots with 28 seconds to go. But Lawrence made four of six free throws to keep the Cougars out front.
Anthony Stitt had 12 points and Thomas 10 for Charleston.
Patrick Heckmann led the Eagles with 18 points. Boston College made seven 3-pointers the first half but was just 3-of-15 after that.
Boston College and College of Charleston were looking for a feel-good finish to the tournament. The Eagles had lost by double-digits to No. 16 Baylor and Dayton in its first two games while the home-standing Cougars were beaten by St. John's and Auburn.
First year Charleston coach Doug Wojcik also ended his personal four-game losing streak at the Charleston Classic. The then Tulsa coach dropped his final two tourney games on this court a season ago.
Boston College took control early with Lonnie Jackson hitting a pair of 3-pointers on the way to 19-12 lead midway through the first half. The Cougars rallied to cut things to 23-22 before the Eagles took off again.
Heckmann had two 3-pointers and Jackson added his third of the half to move in front 34-27 before the Cougars began their decisive stretch.
Both teams came into the game shorthanded. Boston College was without sophomore Ryan Anderson, who was out with an ankle injury. Anderson scored 39 points in the first two tournament games.
Charleston was without junior starter Trent Wiedeman, also out with a bad ankle. He had scored 18 points in the Cougars' two losses.
CofC will travel to Baylor, its fourth consecutive major-conference opponent, for a non-bracketed road game on Saturday, Nov. 24 at 9 p.m. (ET) at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.
· For the first time this season, the Cougars went with the starting five of sophomore Anthony Stitt, senior Andrew Lawrence, junior Anthony Thomas, junior Willis Hall and sophomore Adjehi Baru. It marked Hall's 45th career start and first since the 2010-11 season.
· With the victory, CofC takes a 1-0 lead in the all-time series with Boston College. The Cougars also claimed their eighth all-time win over an ACC opponent and second on their home court in two years after upsetting then No. 9-ranked North Carolina in 2010 at TD Arena.
· CofC has now played three BCS conference schools in a row for the third time in program history next to 1996-97 and 1993-94.
· After missing the Auburn game with a stomach virus, Andrew Lawrence returned to the starting lineup and registered his third career 20-point game with a game-high 22 points in 20 minutes of play.
· Willis Hall had a near double-double with a game-high 11 rebounds and eight points. He has now brought down double-digit boards for the fourth time of his career.
· For the fourth consecutive contest, the Cougars outrebounded their opponent, 35-31 (+4)
· Freshman Theo Johnson tied his career-high with three blocked shots versus Auburn.
· CofC made a season-low 12 turnovers including only five in the first half.
College of Charleston Head Coach Doug Wojcik
On the game …
"That was a really hard-fought team win for us today. They lost a great player (TBA) and we lost a great player (Trent Wiedeman). Sometimes there is a lot of pressure on kids and a lot of anticipation when you play in a tournament that we should just beat St. John's and we should just beat Auburn without Andrew Lawrence. We haven't practiced without Andrew and Trent. There is no way to practice yesterday. They are tired and it's a grind. Three games in four days. I really thought they answered the bell. I'm proud of all of them. Anthony Thomas gets his fouls and he is out of the game. He comes back and pushes the lead for us. Willis Hall plays great off the bench. Matt Sundberg is showing a lot of confidence right now. Andrew just makes a huge difference for us. He really understands spacing and makes shots. Adjehi (Baru) did a great job playing 38 minutes defending the post, because those guys are big guys. It was a great win for us."
College of Charleston Senior Point Guard Andrew Lawrence
On returning to the lineup recovering from a stomach virus and to get the win over an ACC school …
"I felt bad yesterday just because I missed the (Auburn) game. I was ready to get back out there today. I was feeling weak throughout the game. I'm glad I was able to come through today and help the team get a win. It was a really big win for us to beat an ACC school, especially without Trent Wiedeman today. I felt like Willis Hall was going after every rebound. He had 11. I'm really proud of him stepping up and proud of my team."
College of Charleston Junior Forward Anthony Thomas
On the win over an ACC school …
"It reinforced some confidence for us to go and get ready to play at Baylor. It helped us trust Coach Wojcik and everything he is doing and more."