Cougars Close Out Regular-Season Play at Furman
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON (21-9, 13-4 SoCon) vs. FURMAN (6-22, 3-14 SoCon)
March 2, 2013 • 4:00 p.m. (ET)
Timmons Arena (5,000)
at Greenville, S.C.
Radio: College of Charleston Radio Network (ESPN Radio 910 AM)
Series History: Furman Leads 41-39
Last Meeting: CofC def. Furman, 60-56, on Jan. 5, 2013 in Charleston, S.C.
Internet: Free Live Statistics on www.FurmanPaladins.com
College of Charleston: Doug Wojcik
First Year at CofC: 21-9 (.700)
Eighth Year Overall: 161-101 (.615)
Furman: Jeff Jackson
Seventh Year at Furman: 84-129 (.394)
10th Year Overall: 105-189 (.357)
RADIO (College of Charleston Radio Network)
Play-By-Play: Jeff McCarragher
Color Analyst: Everett German
The College of Charleston men’s basketball team (21-9, 13-4 SoCon) will close out Southern Conference regular-season play at Furman (6-22, 3-14 SoCon) for the final time after 15 years as a member of the fourth-oldest league in the country on Saturday, March 2 at 4 p.m. (ET) at Timmons Arena in Greenville, S.C. The Cougars are winners of nine of their last 11 games and have put together a 6-3 record versus South Division foes including series sweeps of The Citadel (69-54) on Jan. 24 and Wofford (55-50) on Feb. 28. In both teams’ last meeting, CofC held on for a 60-56 victory over the Paladins to ring in the New Year on Jan. 5 at TD Arena. Each of the squads last four games of the season have been decided by nine points or less (3-1). A win on Saturday would give the program its 11th road victory of the season and second 14-4 league mark or better in the last five years. The school record on the road all-time is 14 set pre-NCAA Division I status in 1986-87.
A LOOK AT FURMAN
The Paladins are looking to end a nine-game losing skid and last saw a notch in the win column in an 81-74 victory over Georgia Southern on Jan. 31. Five of their six overall wins of the season have been on their home court. Three of the team’s current starters will play in their last home game of their careers in leading scorer and rebounder Colin Reddick (12.7 ppg and 6.3 rpg), Bryant Irwin and Bobby Austin on Saturday.
SOCON TOURNAMENT SCENARIOS
Three of the four top seeds have been locked up by South Division champion Davidson, North Division champion Elon and College of Charleston in the upcoming 2012 SoCon Tournament on March 8-11 in Asheville, N.C. Appalachian State can clinch the No. 4 seed with a win against Chattanooga on Saturday. The Cougars earned the No. 3 seed and will play the winner of the No. 6 versus No. 11 seed on Saturday, March 9 in the 8:30 p.m. (ET) quarterfinal game.
COUGARS ON THE AIRWAVES
Fans can listen to all CofC men’s basketball games throughout the 2012-13 season on ESPN Radio 910 AM in Charleston or via a live audio link at: www.charlestonsportsradio.com. Voice of the Cougars Jeff McCarragher and color analyst Everett German will call the action live from Timmons Arena on the College of Charleston Radio Network.
PROJECTED COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON STARTERS
#22 Anthony Stitt, G, 6-1, 180, So. (10.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.2 apg, 32.9 min)
#4 Andrew Lawrence, G, 6-1, 185, Sr. (13.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 3.9 apg, 32.3 min)
#3 Anthony Thomas, F, 6-7, 207, Jr. (8.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.6 apg, 28.9 min)
#53 Willis Hall, F, 6-6, 235, RS-Jr. (7.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 0.7 apg, 24.1 min)
#1 Adjehi Baru, F, 6-9, 225, So. (9.7 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 0.6 apg, 31.0 min)
PROJECTED FURMAN STARTERS
#24 Larry Wideman, G, 6-4, 190, Fr. (8.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 0.8 apg, 25.1 min)
#22 Bobby Austin, G, 6-3, 200, Sr. (6.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.6 apg, 29.4 min)
#15 Bryant Irwin, F, 6-7, 220, Sr. (6.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 0.4 apg, 24.3 min)
#30 Kendrec Ferrara, F, 6-9, 225, Fr. (6.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 0.7 apg, 27.5 min)
#43 Colin Reddick, F, 6-9, 240, Sr. (12.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.8 apg, 28.0 min)
College of Charleston is closing in on the all-time series as Furman holds a two-game advantage, 41-39. Since joining the Southern Conference in 1998-99, the Cougars have made a dent in the series with a 26-4 mark against the Paladins. They have won the last four road trips to Greenville, S.C., in the last 10 games between the two South Division foes. CofC will look to earn its third regular-season series sweep of a South Division opponent this year having last done so against Furman during the 2010-11 campaign – including the trifecta in the SoCon Tournament Semifinals.
LAST 10 GAMES IN THE SERIES
W, 60-56 at Charleston, S.C. on 1/5/13 (+4)
L, 63-69 at Charleston, S.C. on 1/26/12 (-6)
W, 66-43 at Greenville, S.C. on 1/7/12 (+23)
W, 63-58 at *Chattanooga, Tenn. on 3/6/11 (+5)
W, 73-54 at Charleston, S.C. on 2/5/11 (+19)
W, 76-72 at Greenville, S.C. on 1/6/11 (+4)
W, 69-66 at Greenville, S.C. on 2/27/10 (+3)
W, 92-80 at Charleston, S.C. on 1/21/10 (+12)
W, 69-58 at Charleston, S.C. on 2/28/09 (+11)
W, 78-71 at Greenville, S.C. on 1/17/09 (+7)
The Cougars will be on the road from here on out, though the SoCon Tournament games next week will be counted as neutral contests. They currently are tied for the second-most road victories among NCAA Division I schools with 10. One more win would tie CofC with Stephen F. Austin, Bucknell and Stony Brook, who all have 11 on the season. Postseason tournament resumes are usually based on the RPI, how you finish in your last six games of the regular season, your road record and strength of schedule.
MOST ROAD VICTORIES AMONG NCAA DIVISION I SCHOOLS
1T. Stephen F. Austin (11-3)
1T. Bucknell (11-4)
1T. Stony Brook (11-5)
2T. Miami (10-2)
2T. College of Charleston (10-2)
2T. UT Arlington (10-3)
2T. Louisiana Tech (10-3)
2T. Albany (10-4)
2T. Norfolk State (10-8)
• Coach Wojcik is 1-0 lifetime against Furman in his eight years as a Division I head coach. He has compiled a 13-5 record versus Southern Conference opponents with wins over Elon, Furman, Chattanooga (twice), The Citadel (twice), Wofford (twice), Appalachian State, UNCG, Samford, Georgia Southern and Western Carolina this season.
• Wojcik and first-year assistant coach Shammond Williams share North Carolina ties as Wojcik served an assistant coach in Chapel Hill from 2000-03 and met the former NBA veteran and Tar Heel guard on several occasions. Navy even played No. 1-ranked UNC, with the all-star cast of Williams, Vince Carter, Rasheed Wallace and Antawn Jamison, in the NCAA Tournament in Hartford in 1998.
• CofC junior combination guard/forward Nori Johnson (‘10), CofC sophomore center David Wishon (‘11) and Furman assistant coach Shammond Williams (‘94) are all Fork Union Military Academy alums. The trio played for legendary head coach Fletcher Arritt. Johnson is currently coming off the bench and contributing 4.3 points and 2.0 rebounds per game, while Wishon is sitting out this season in residency as a transfer from the University of Tulsa.
CofC 55, Wofford 50
• For the first time this season, CofC went with the starting lineup of senior Andrew Lawrence, senior Bart Benton, junior Anthony Thomas, senior Matt Sundberg and sophomore Adjehi Baru (1-0). It marked the first career start for Benton, a walk-on playing on Senior Night, while Sundberg made his second start of the season and sixth of his career.
• Former head coach Bobby Cremins was on hand with head coach Doug Wojcik to honor the 2013 Senior Class of Lawrence, Benton and Sundberg – all of whom were recruited by Cremins – in a pre-game ceremony.
• With the win, the Cougars swept Wofford in the regular-season series for the first time since the 2010-11 campaign. The Terriers had won the last three games between the two South Division rivals prior to this season.
• Andrew Lawrence had a near triple-double with 10 points, a career-high tying eight rebounds and seven assists. His seven assists gives him 381 for his career which moved him into the top 10 all-time career assists list at CofC. Lawrence surpassed former Cougar great Ron Theis, who made 376 assists from 1972-76.
• Anthony Stitt missed the Wofford game being sidelined with a knee injury stemming from the Gardner-Webb game on Feb. 23. He is listed as day-to-day. He had played and started in all 29 games of the season averaging 10.8 points and 3.2 assists per contest.
• Bart Benton opened the game with a three-pointer at the 19:34 minute mark of the first half. It tied his career-high he last set against South Carolina State on Jan. 2, 2010 as a freshman.
• Defensively, the Cougars held Wofford to an opponent season-high tying 50 points which they also did against Vermont on Dec. 29 and at Wofford on Jan. 26. Both squads entered the ballgame as the two best teams in the SoCon in scoring defense.
COUGAR SOUND BITES
“It’s important, because it’s our next game. It’s important for momentum. It’s important to get win No. 22 and continue to build our (postseason tournament) resume. I believe we have a team that will be in the postseason. We need to keep getting better and another game gives us that opportunity. There is always a senior night at home and there’s always a senior night on the road. You just have to be prepared. From our perspective, we won’t treat it any differently from what we normally do to prepare for an opponent. We want to remain focused on attacking (defensively) what Furman does on Saturday.” – CofC Head Coach Doug Wojcik on closing out the regular season at Furman prior to the Southern Conference Tournament next week
“We’re expecting another tough game at Furman. They gave us a really good game here at home. They play a lot of zone, so we’ll see a lot of that on Saturday. Again, we need to keep the momentum going. We played a tough game against Wofford. We’ll have another one on Saturday and then go right into the (SoCon) tournament, hopefully, on a two-game win streak.” – Senior Point Guard Andrew Lawrence on playing Furman in both team’s regular-season finale
“We’re not looking past Furman. We are looking forward to going to the (SoCon) tournament, but we know we still have a test on Saturday. Those guys aren’t going to lay down. They’re going to come out fighting on their own Senior Night.” – Junior Forward/Guard Nori Johnson on the team’s next game against Furman, before traveling to the SoCon Tournament next week with a first-round bye