College of Charleston mounted a furious second-half comeback, but ultimately fell short to Marist, 69-62, in non-conference action held on Sunday afternoon at TD Arena.
The Cougars (4-6) erased a 15-point halftime deficit to pull to within two at the 7:43 minute mark, but long-distance shots rimmed out late and the Red Foxes (1-9) held on to pick up the road win.
Marist hit eight three-pointers and forced 15 CofC turnovers. The Cougars shot 39.7 percent (23-of-58) from the field with over half (34) of the team's points coming in the paint.
Redshirt senior forward Willis Hall (Charlotte, N.C.) was instrumental in Charleston's second-half surge as 17 of his season-high 19 points came in the second stanza. Hall recorded his second double-double of the season with a game-high 11 rebounds.
Junior guard Anthony Stitt (Charlotte, N.C.) recorded 14 points and four assists, while junior big man Adjehi Baru (Abidjan, Ivory Coast) added nine points and seven boards. Freshman Joe Chealey (Orlando, Fla.) and senior Anthony Thomas (Winston-Salem, N.C.) each had eight points.
Four players scored in double figures for Marist, led by Chavaughn Lewis' 18 points. He also grabbed six rebounds and made four steals. Khallid Hart scored 16 points, while Adam Kemp poured in 12 on 5-of-6 shooting. The Red Foxes converted Charleston's 15 turnovers into 17 points.
Marist used an early 11-2 run to open up a 20-11 lead in the first half after a trey from Lewis. A jumper from Hall at the 6:14 minute mark capped a 13-7 counter-run by CofC, bringing the margin to 27-24.
The Red Foxes ended the half with sharp shooting, converting on two late three-pointers to build a 43-28 halftime lead. The visitors continued to control the momentum when a Kemp layup at the 14:41 mark of the second half put Marist up, 53-40.
But then Hall came alive. He converted on an offensive rebound and tip in, and then made four consecutive free throws to cut the margin to 53-46. After a block from Baru, Hall splashed a corner three-pointer to make it a four-point game.
Marist answered with a trey, but redshirt freshman Canyon Barry (Colorado Springs, Colo.) captured a steal and found Stitt for the old fashioned three-point play in transition. Another tip-in from Hall made it a two-point game at 56-54 with 7:43 remaining, electrifying the holiday crowd.
Baru countered a Curry jumper with two free throws to keep it at two points (60-58) with 4:49 left, but then Charleston's offense went cold, scoring just four points for the remainder of the game. Marist missed seven free throws down the stretch, but CofC's three-point attempts rimmed out.
Charleston travels to Old Dominion (4-6) for a rematch on Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. (ET) in Norfolk, Va.
· For the 10th consecutive game of the season, the Cougars went with the starting lineup of freshman Joe Chealey, junior Anthony Stitt, redshirt freshman Canyon Barry, senior Willis Hall and junior Adjehi Baru (4-6).
· Marist evens the all-time series with College of Charleston, 1-1. Both teams met for the first time on New Year's Eve in 2012-13.
· Willis Hall registered his sixth career double-double with a game-and season-high 19 points and 11 rebounds against Marist. It marked his second double-double of the year.
· Anthony Stitt reached double figures for the fourth-straight game with 14 points. He also dished out a game-high four assists with just one turnover and has a 2.67 assist-to-turnover ratio in back-to-back contests versus Coker and Marist combined.
· Defensively, CofC made six steals against Marist which was the team's second-most of the season behind seven versus Furman on Nov. 23.
· The Cougars outrebounded the Red Foxes, 40-31 (+9), and are now 4-2 when outboarding their opponents this season.
College of Charleston Head Coach Doug Wojcik
On the game …
"We didn't start the game well, and unfortunately, that gave them confidence. It shows our potential lack of depth at times. David Wishon, who is hurt and doesn't play. Those are minutes we could use to clog up the middle against the size of (Adam) Kemp. Adjehi's foul trouble hurt us. We had to manage the first half and get out of there. Give my kids a lot of credit. They came roaring back (in the second half), but it wasn't enough to overcome the deficit we dug ourselves into (in the first half)."
On playing zone and the team's second-half surge …
"We do have to execute better down the stretch. For the most part, our guys give really good effort. Tonight we just didn't start the game well and dug ourselves into a hole. That's the most zone I have played in my career. Give them (Marist) credit. I thought we had a hard time guarding them. (Chavaughn) Lewis is a tough matchup for us. Anthony Stitt is my best defender. You are hoping you can start and slow them down and stop the dribble penetration. The man defense is certainly where you want to be as the aggressor. We ended up outrebounding them. We saw these guys last year. It's not like we didn't know who Lewis was. We really respected Kemp as a post player. We thought (Khallid) Hart was a strong and physical point guard. The damage was really done by their three guards in Hart, (T.J.) Curry and Lewis."
College of Charleston Redshirt Senior Forward Willis Hall
On his second-half performance and the team's second-half surge …
"We dug ourselves into a hole, and unfortunately, it wasn't enough. At that point, you have to do whatever you can do to scratch your paw. But, today, it wasn't enough."
College of Charleston Junior Guard Anthony Stitt
On the game …
"We didn't take them lightly. We knew they had lost to some really good teams. We just didn't start the game well. We were lackadaisical on defense and we had no sense of urgency at the beginning."