The College of Charleston men's basketball team snuck away with a 72-67 win over Charleston Southern on Wednesday night at Buccaneer Fieldhouse.
It was more than 16 years since both teams met in the small confines of the 881-seat venue, the smallest in all of NCAA Division I. Four of the last six contests leading up to the intercity rivalry game were decided in single digits – and this one didn't disappoint by doing the same.
Senior point guard Andrew Lawrence (London, England) sank six free throws in the last minute and 40 seconds of regulation to give the Cougars (4-2) their third-straight victory of the season after upsetting No. 21 Baylor on Saturday.
Lawrence and sophomore point guard Anthony Stitt (Charlotte, N.C.) both ended the night with a team-high 18 points, while junior forward Willis Hall (Charlotte, N.C.) and sophomore forward Adjehi Baru (Abidjan, Ivory Coast) added 11 each.
The Buccaneers (1-5) got within one in the final seconds as CSU's Arlon Harper drained a three-pointer with 41 seconds left on the clock, 68-67. But, the Cougars would hold on for intercity bragging rights.
Up next, CofC will open Southern Conference play at Elon (5-2) on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. (ET) at Alumni Gym in Elon, N.C.
· For the third time this season, the Cougars used the starting five of sophomore Anthony Stitt, senior Andrew Lawrence, junior Anthony Thomas, junior Willis Hall and sophomore Adjehi Baru (3-0).
· With the win, CofC continues to lead the all-time rivalry series with Charleston Southern, 52-23, and won its sixth-straight contest versus the Buccaneers. It marked only the third time both teams played at Buccaneer Fieldhouse next to 1992 and 1996.
· The Cougars tied a season-high with nine three-pointers in the ballgame next to nine at Baylor on Nov. 28.
· Andrew Lawrence had an impressive stat line with a career-high eight rebounds along with 18 points and six assists.
· Anthony Stitt knocked down a season-high 18 points and is now on a four-game double-digit scoring streak.
· As a team, CofC dished out a season-high 16 assists and outrebounded its opponents by the second-most margin of the season, 39-27 (+12). CSU was ranked No. 30 nationally in rebounds per game (41.4) and were held to 27 for the ballgame.
College of Charleston Head Coach Doug Wojcik
On the game and playing at the Buc Dome …
"This was a really good team effort. We had a great group of fans here. It's not an easy game. Give those kids a lot of credit. We really guarded them, but we didn't guard (Saah) Nimley as well in the first half as we hoped. He kept refusing the ball screen. We forced him over the ball screen in the second half. Our bigs Willis (Hall), Matt (Sundberg) and Adjehi (Baru) stayed with him and bothered him in the second half. I'm really proud of them. We go back on the road again to Elon on Saturday and then host Louisville on Tuesday before finals. For us to win at Baylor on Saturday and to play at their dome on Wednesday, after 16 years of not playing here, it's a real gut check for our guys. I thought they rose up and met the challenge."
College of Charleston Senior Point Guard Andrew Lawrence
On the game and playing at the Buc Dome …
"They had a really good crowd tonight. I was really impressed with the way their fans came out to support their team. We had made a few really good runs, but let them back in. They are a really good team and will pick up some good wins this year. We know we didn't defend as well as we should have in the first half. We came into the second half with the point of emphasis of getting a lot of stops and rebounds. It was my first time ever playing here and it was a good experience. They (fans) are really close to the floor and you can hear what they are saying, so it was a lot of fun."
Charleston Southern Head Coach Barclay Radebaugh
"College of Charleston is a very good basketball team and they have bought into what Doug (Wojcik) is trying to do. With that being said, congratulations to our team. We absolutely busted our tail. We did everything we could possibly try to do to win that game outside of shooting the ball. The shots are going to fall.
"[College of Charleston] is hard to guard," Radebaugh said. "They have inside presence and Andrew Lawrence is a pro."
"It's a long season and it's about the big picture," Radebaugh added. "We've put these guys through a gauntlet. No body in the Big South is playing that schedule. It will help us in the long run. That's as good as it gets at Charleston Southern. That's a big time. I just want it to continue. There's so much school spirit and so much pride in this basketball team right now."