Junior guard Anthony Stitt (Charlotte, N.C.) scored a game-and season-high 21 points to lead College of Charleston to an 89-55 rout of Furman on Saturday night at TD Arena.
The Cougars (2-3) snapped a two-game losing skid prior to traveling out to Southern California next week for the DIRECTV Wooden Legacy tournament – a field comprised of top teams such as San Diego State, Creighton, Arizona State and Marquette among others.
CofC won its third-straight against its former Southern Conference rival Paladins (2-2) in the all-time series – the first as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association.
The Cougars shot a season-best 56.9 percent from the floor (33-of-58) and had four players score in double figures including 14 from junior big man Adjehi Baru (Abidjan, Ivory Coast) and 15 from redshirt freshman guard Canyon Barry (Colorado Springs, Colo.). They led 37-30 at halftime.
Defensively, CofC had one of its best games of the year holding Furman to a season-low 34.5 percent from the field and 18.8 percent from beyond the arc. Stephen Croone led the Paladins with 20 points.
Freshman Johnathan Burroughs-Cook (Memphis, Tenn.) came off the bench and registered a career-high 14 points including 11 in a second-half run that helped put the game away for the Cougars.
The Cougars travel next to the Wooden Legacy over the Thanksgiving holiday break and open the eight-team tournament with San Diego State (2-1) on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28 at 8:30 p.m. (ET) in Anaheim, Calif. The game will be televised live nationally on ESPNU.
· For the fifth time this year, the Cougars went with the starting five of freshman Joe Chealey, junior Anthony Stitt, redshirt freshman Canyon Barry, senior Willis Hall and junior Adjehi Baru (2-3).
· With the win, CofC owns on a three-game win streak in the all-time series with Furman, which is now tied at 41-41. It was the program's first win against its old Southern Conference rival as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association.
· Anthony Stitt scored a game-and season-high 21 points against Furman. In all four career games played against the Paladins (he missed one game with a left hand injury as a freshman in 2011-12), he has scored in double figures. It marked his sixth 20-point game of his career and was just two points shy of his career high (vs. UMass on Nov. 26, 2011). Stitt also made a career-best four steals.
· The Cougars shot a season-high 56.9 percent from the floor (33-of-58) and season-high 45.8 percent from behind the three-point arc (11-of-24) against the Paladins.
· Freshman Johnathan Burroughs-Cook came off the bench and scored a career-high 14 points going 5-of-6 from the field and 3-of-4 from beyond the three-point arc in just 15 minutes of action.
· The CofC defense held Furman to an opponent season-low 34.5 percent from the floor (20-of-58) and 18.8 percent from beyond the arc (3-of-16). It was the Paladins' worst percentages from either so far this season. They were also held to 55 points which was 15 under its scoring average (70.0 ppg) leading into Saturday night's contest.
· The Cougars drained 11 three-pointers in the game which was the second-most of the season behind 12 against Charlotte in the home opener on Nov. 12.
College of Charleston Head Coach Doug Wojcik
On Anthony Stitt's game …
"He really got himself going defensively. In the first half, Joe Chealey got two fouls within 11 minutes. Anthony Stitt played a phenomenal floor game in the first half. We had Terrance O'Donohue and David Wishon in the game together – you can call it an ‘offensive set.' They got Johnathan Burroughs-Cook a wide-open three. He (Stitt) showed a lot of maturity running our team, besides his defense. In the second half, he scored it and got good looks and got out on the break. The other nice stat is that he had four steals. For us to play the way we did and for him to get four steals – he needed that and we needed that."
On defending Furman's Stephen Croone …
"We wanted to pick him up full court. We wanted to make him work. We wanted to screen him on defense. He still put up good numbers though. He went 7-of-14 and is a nice player and quick. I thought Joe Chealey did a good job on him. That was our game plan and it worked pretty well for us."
College of Charleston Junior Guard Anthony Stitt
On guarding Furman's leading-scorer Stephen Croone …
"Coming into the game, he was averaging 27 points per game against Division I teams. I knew it would be a challenge to slow him down. I pride myself on the defensive end. I knew that if we could get stops on defense, we could limit them and get out and run in transition which we are really good at. It helped today when we stopped them. We had to slow him down. He is the key to their team and took 35 percent of their shots this year. Slowing him down and having a good game plan really helped boost us in the second half when we went on our run."
On his play against Furman after a rough start to the season on offense …
"I was just making shots today. In our first four games, I was getting good looks that I wanted, I just didn't make the shots. Like Rick Barry (Canyon Barry's father) told me last year, ‘keep shooting.' My teammates and coaches believed in me and said, ‘keep shooting.' I knew they (the shots) would fall eventually, so today just happened to be that night."
College of Charleston Freshman Guard Johnathan Burroughs-Cook
On his extended minutes in the game against Furman …
"I feel like if I can get into the game, I'll do whatever Coach (Wojcik) wants me to do. If I have to defend, I'll do whatever it takes to help our team win. Defensively, we worked together as a unit today. We held them (Furman) under their points per game average and we executed our game plan."