Three players scored in double figures to lead College of Charleston to its first-ever road win as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association – a 58-49 victory over defending league regular-season champion Northeastern – on Monday night at historic Matthews Arena.
Senior small forward Anthony Thomas (Winston-Salem, N.C.) recorded a season-high 16 points along with nine rebounds and career-high five assists for the Cougars (10-8, 2-1 CAA), who have now won five of their last six games.
Both teams turned in a low-scoring first half as the Huskies (4-13, 1-2 CAA) led 21-19 at halftime.
The second half was a different story for CofC as it sprinted out to a 5-0 run on a three-pointer by graduate senior forward Willis Hall (Charlotte, N.C.) and a layup by Thomas.
Defensively, the Cougars held Northeastern's Scott Eatherton, who leads the nation in double-doubles, to just eight points and five rebounds in the second half. He still led all scorers and rebounders with 19 points and 16 rebounds for the game.
Charleston shot an improved 50 percent from the floor compared to 30.8 percent in the first half. Both teams couldn't break away from each other with six ties and nine lead changes in the contest.
A three-pointer by freshman guard Joe Chealey (Orlando, Fla.) finally gave CofC its largest lead of the game, 43-35 (+8), with 8:38 remaining in regulation and the Cougars never looked back.
Hall finished the game with his sixth double-double of the season with 14 points and 13 rebounds, while junior floor general Anthony Stitt (Charlotte, N.C.) turned in 10 points and contributed to the team's season-best percentage from three-point land – 53.3 percent on 8-of-15 attempts.
The Cougars will return to Charleston and have a six-day layoff until a meeting with preseason CAA favorite Towson on Sunday, Jan. 19 at 3:30 p.m. (ET) at TD Arena. The game will be televised live nationally on the NBC Sports Network.
· For the sixth time this season, the Cougars started junior guard Anthony Stitt, freshman guard Johnathan Burroughs-Cook, senior small forward Anthony Thomas, graduate senior forward Willis Hall and junior forward Adjehi Baru (4-2).
· College of Charleston claimed its first-ever road win as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association and takes a 1-0 lead in the all-time series with Northeastern. Both teams will meet again on Feb. 15 in Charleston.
· Anthony Thomas scored a season-high 16 points and was just one short of a double-double with nine rebounds. He also dished out a game-and career-high five assists against the Huskies.
· Willis Hall turned in his sixth double-double of the season with 14 points and 13 rebounds including 12 on the defensive glass. It marked his 10th career double-double. He moved into third on CofC's Division I career rebounding list (721) surpassing former great Jody Lumpkin who brought down 710 from 1998-2001. It ranks seventh-best on the all-time list.
· For the third-straight game in CAA play, Anthony Stitt scored in double figures with 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the floor with two three-pointers.
· Defensively, the Cougars held Northeastern to its lowest scoring production of the season (49 points) which was tied with a 49-79 loss at Vanderbilt for the Huskies. CofC currently leads the CAA in scoring defense and it was its best effort in three league games thus far in that particular category.
· CofC made seven blocked shots in the game which is its second-best total for the season behind nine at Old Dominion on Dec. 18.
· The Cougars also shot a season-best 53.3 percent from beyond the arc (8-of-15) against Northeastern and has now shot 50 percent or better in 2-of-3 CAA games (52.2% versus James Madison on Jan. 7).
"A win on the road, I don't care how ugly it was. A win is a win. When you are on an extended four-day road trip with a one-day prep between games, everyone we play in the league is someone new for us. We actually played very well on Saturday (at Hofstra). We had a very disappointing loss after having a 14-point lead. For our guys to rally back and play well as a group tonight, not completely offensively, we found a way to win. We really came out and had a great second half. It was a very good win for us."
On what he did at halftime to get his team back on track …
"We attacked a little bit. (Scott) Eatherton is a bit of an issue. He tries to block everything, but his numbers are incredible. We got some good baskets. Anthony Stitt is playing very well for us right now. Two games in a row we have had a positive assist-to-turnover ratio which is fantastic for us. We are just not shooting free throws well. We are shooting the ball decent and shooting the ball great from three. We tried to push the ball and get something easy, before Eatherton got set defensively. Adjehi Baru played a completely different second half than he did in the first half. Our defense can hold us in games. Had we made our free throws, it would have been a bigger margin."
College of Charleston Senior Small Forward Anthony Thomas
On defending Northeastern's David Walker in the back court …
"I just followed Anthony Stitt's lead. He was on him (David Walker) first. I just saw how he was defending him and that was a great example for me. I feel my length was bothering him, but he is a really good player."
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