Charleston Holds off Elon to Nab First CAA Victory, 65-61
Charleston, S.C. – Charleston Men’s Basketball secured its first Colonial Athletic Association victory of the season on Sunday as the Cougars held off Elon, 65-61, at TD Arena. CofC improved to 9-5 overall and 1-1 in league play with the win.
Charleston played tenacious defense all afternoon, holding the Phoenix to 39 percent shooting overall and 33 percent from long range. CofC forced 17 turnovers, including one on Elon’s final possession to seal the win. The Cougars outpaced Elon, 38-24, in the paint.
CofC’s defense allowed head coach Pat Kelsey’s squad to build an early 16-6 lead in what turned out to be a slugfest. Charleston led for 38:38 of gameclock, but hot shooting from Hunter McIntosh, who finished with a game-high 22 points, and a late surge in the final five minutes, kept Elon in it.
Seniors John Meeks and Dimitrius Underwood captained the victory for CofC. Meeks finished with a team-high 19 points and his flurry of buckets pushed Charleston in front by as many as 15 in the second half. It was Underwood though, who came up clutch in the waning minutes.
After a frenetic Elon run sliced CofC’s deficit to three, Underwood’s tough drive and finish gave the Cougars a 5-point edge. Elon got back within two and had the ball with 39 seconds left, but Underwood forced a turnover and made a pair of game-winning free throws to clinch the win. Underwood wound up with 14 points, five boards and five steals.
- Senior John Meeks scored a team-high 19 points and added seven rebounds in a strong performance in the paint.
- Dimitrius Underwood racked up another five steals and finished with 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting and five boards.
- Freshmen Ben Burnham was 5-of-7 from the field en route to 12 points, his most since Nov. 16. Burnham also snatched four boards.
- Freshman Babacar Faye hit his first career triple and chipped in seven points and four boards off the bench.
- With five more steals on Sunday, Underwood now has a CAA-best 34 steals this season. He has 3+ steals in six different games, one of just six Cougars since 2010 to have at least six games with 3+ steals in the same season.
- Meeks has now scored in double figures in 38 games in his career.
- CofC is now 4-1 in bounce-back games coming off a loss this season.
- CofC is 5-2 in games decided by five or fewer points this season.
- Coach Kelsey got his first career CAA win as a head coach and is now 111-45 in his career in league play.
- The Cougars improved to 24-9 all-time vs. Elon.
Up NextThe Cougars host William & Mary on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. ET at TD Arena.
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