The College of Charleston men's basketball team used a balanced scoring attack to close out 2012 on a high note with an 85-75 road win at Marist on New Year's Eve at McCann Arena.
The Cougars (9-4) are an undefeated 5-0 on the road this season which currently leads the nation among NCAA Division I schools, who remain unbeaten on the road. The Red Foxes (4-9) lost their third-straight contest as CofC racked up its highest-scoring output of the season (85).
Four players scored in double figures led by senior Andrew Lawrence who registered a team-high 22 points – his second-straight 20-point outing in three days.
Sophomore Anthony Stitt added 19 points including a pivotal steal and fastbreak layup at the 3:07 minute mark of the second half which put the Cougars ahead for good, 84-75.
Redshirt junior Willis Hall turned in his fourth career double-double with 14 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, while sophomore big man Adjehi Baru had 12.
CofC never trailed in the ballgame aside from the opening bucket made by Manny Thomas. Marist, however, made 9-of-20 three-pointers which kept them within striking distance of the Cougars for most of the two halves. Chavaughn Lewis fouled out, but led all scorers with a game-high 23 points.
The Cougars will return to Southern Conference action with a three-game homestand ahead which begins with Furman on Saturday, Jan. 5 at 5 p.m. (ET) at TD Arena. The game will be televised live locally on MyTV Charleston and carried nationally on ESPN3/WatchESPN.com.
· For the ninth time this year, the Cougars went with the starting lineup of sophomore Anthony Stitt, senior Andrew Lawrence, junior Anthony Thomas, redshirt junior Willis Hall and sophomore forward Adjehi Baru (8-1).
· With the win, CofC leads 1-0 in the all-time series with Marist. It was the Cougars' first game in the state of New York since 2007. They have now won their last three-straight contests in the Empire State.
· The Cougars extended their road win streak (5-0) to five consecutive games which is tied as the most road wins in the nation with Bucknell (5-2). Of the 21 schools in the country who remain unbeaten this season on the road, CofC has the most victories among those road teams.
· For the second-straight contest, Andrew Lawrence led the team in scoring with 22 points to mark his fifth career 20-point game. He had 17 first-half points and now has tabulated 927 career points to date.
· Willis Hall made a career-high three blocked shots against Marist. He also led the Cougars for the fifth time this season in the rebounding column. Hall recorded his fourth career double-double with 14 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
· Anthony Stitt turned in 19 points to extend his double-digit scoring streak to three games in a row.
· CofC shot 51.8 percent (29-of-56) from the floor which marked the third time this season in which the Cougars shot better than 50 percent from the field next to wins over Towson (56.3%) on Nov. 9 and Old Dominion (53.1%) on Dec. 18.
· The Cougars have now minimized their turnovers in back-to-back games with a season-low eight at Vermont on Dec. 29 and 12 at Marist, which is tied as the second-fewest of the season next to 12 versus Boston College on Nov. 18.
· CofC outrebounded its 10th opponent of the season, 40-26 (+14). It was the second-largest rebound margin of the season next to the Auburn game (+16) on Nov. 16.
College of Charleston Head Coach Doug Wojcik
On the game …
"It was great road win for us. I don't really have much to criticize as a coach. My guard play is terrific. It doesn't have anything to do with coaching. I give all of the credit to Andrew Lawrence and Anthony Stitt. They are both really good players. Everyone knew Andrew Lawrence was a good player, but Anthony Stitt has come up time-and-time again making big shots for us tonight. Defensively, his steal and layup kind of sealed the game for us (at the 3:07 minute mark in the second half) where he really trailed those baseline screens. We had balanced scoring, shot and rebounded the ball well, continued to improve at the free throw line and we took care of the basketball. My only criticism was that we didn't guard their ball screens really well tonight."
College of Charleston Sophomore Guard Anthony Stitt
On the road win and minimizing turnovers for second-straight game ...
"It feels great to continue our win streak on the road. I think we found out who we are as a team. Everyone is gaining a little confidence, especially with winning on the road, which is big to us. We just have to keep our focus going into conference play. Turnovers were our Achilles' heel – taking care of the basketball. These last two games against Vermont and Marist, we have been cutting down on our turnovers. You really see an improvement in our team when we don't turn over the basketball."