Four players scored in double figures to lead College of Charleston to a 63-59 upset of No. 21-ranked Baylor on Saturday night at the Ferrell Center.
The Cougars (3-2) claimed only their sixth all-time win over a top 25 opponent in program history and the second-ever on the road next to a win at No. 8 Georgia Tech on Jan. 16, 1993. They held the Bears (4-2), who have reached the NCAA Elite Eight in two of the last three seasons, to just 39.3 percent shooting from the field (24-of-61) in the victory.
Redshirt junior forward Willis Hall (Charlotte, N.C.) led CofC with a game-high 12 points including key baskets and free throws in the final minutes of regulation. Junior transfer Anthony Thomas (Winston-Salem, N.C.) added 11, while senior guard Andrew Lawrence (London, England) and sophomore guard Anthony Stitt (Charlotte, N.C.) had 10 each.
It was the first big win in the Doug Wojcik era and first over a top 25 opponent since upsetting No. 9-ranked North Carolina on their own home court on Jan. 4, 2010 in Charleston, S.C. Both teams played without a starter in Charleston's Trent Wiedeman, who is out indefinitely with an ankle sprain, and Baylor's Brady Heslip, who is recovering from an appendectomy.
The Cougars will remain on the road for the month of November with an intercity rivalry matchup with Charleston Southern (1-4) scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 7:30 p.m. (ET) at the Buc Dome in North Charleston, S.C. The game will be televised locally on MyTV Charleston and carried on ESPN3 via the Charleston Sports Network on WatchESPN.com.
· For the second time this season, the Cougars used the starting lineup of sophomore Anthony Stitt, senior Andrew Lawrence, junior Anthony Thomas, junior Willis Hall and sophomore Adjehi Baru.
· With the win, the Cougars take a 1-0 lead in the all-time series versus Baylor. It marked CofC's first win over a top 25 opponent since an 82-79 overtime win over No. 9-ranked North Carolina on Jan. 4, 2010.
· CofC claimed its sixth ever win over a top 25 opponent next to wins over UNC (2010 and 1998), Maryland (1997), Stanford (1996) and Georgia Tech (1993). Of those victories, it was only the program's second-ever road win over a ranked opponent since an 84-67 victory at No. 8 Georgia Tech on Jan. 16, 1993.
· The Cougars also claimed their first-ever victory over an opponent hailing from the Big 12 Conference (prior to realignment) in three tries (lost to Oklahoma State in 1996 and Nebraska in 1994).
· Adjehi Baru turned in his fourth career double-figure rebounding game with a season-high 15 boards including a career-best 14 on the defensive end.
· For the fifth consecutive game, the Cougars outrebounded their opponents, 37-34 (+3).
· CofC connected on 9-of-18 three-pointers for the game and shot a season-best 50 percent from downtown including three each from Andrew Lawrence and junior Nori Johnson off the bench.
· The Cougars faced four consecutive BCS opponents for the first time in school history with Baylor (Big 12) and last week's meetings with St. John's (BIG EAST), Auburn (SEC) and Boston College (ACC) in the ESPN Charleston Classic.
College of Charleston Head Coach Doug Wojcik
On the top 25 road win …
"It was a great team win for us, particularly to go on the road and after seeing these guys play last week in Charleston. They are a ranked team. I thought the world of Cory Jefferson and Isaiah Austin. Pierre Jackson is a big-time player. We tried to recruit Brady Heslip at Tulsa. They had a man out (in Heslip) and we had a man out in Trent (Wiedeman) and our guys stepped up tonight. It's a really big win for our program."
On the team's strong defensive rebounding …
"Adjehi Baru plays 39 minutes and goes out and gets 15 rebounds. He could've had a double-double and it's a shame he didn't. He has incredible stamina and endurance. He outworked those guys today. Willis Hall is a winner and is a blue-collar guy that gets a lot of things done. Two games in a row, he kind of seals it for us in the end."
On holding Baylor to a low shooting percentage from the field …
"The truth be told, Brady Heslip is a big loss for them. I didn't know how big of a loss he would be for them. Even Pierre Jackson goes and gets 21, but he is 8-of-21 (from the field) and our defense has been consistent. You can't go on the road against a ranked team and not play defense and win. I don't care who you are. You have to have that and we still shot 49 percent from the field and 50 percent from the three for the game. I thought it was a combination of things. We scored the ball when we had to and we defended well."
College of Charleston Sophomore Forward Adjehi Baru
On the game and top 25 road win …
"We were looking for the win tonight. You just try to play hard at every position, no matter if you are home or away. We did everything we needed to do and played defense according to our scouting report. I give them (Baylor) credit, because they played really hard, too. We really put it on them tonight and played defense as a whole team."