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Cougars To Close Out Pre-Holiday Slate With Coastal Carolina
Courtesy: CofCSports.com  
Release: 12/21/2012
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COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON (6-4, 1-0 SoCon) vs. COASTAL CAROLINA (4-5, 0-0 Big South)

Game #11

December 22, 2012 Noon (ET)

TD Arena/John Kresse Court (5,100)

at Charleston, S.C.

Television: MyTV Charleston/ESPN3

Radio: College of Charleston Radio Network (ESPN Radio 910 AM)

Series History: CofC Leads 33-12

Last Meeting: CofC def. Coastal Carolina, 77-70, on Dec. 22, 2011 in Conway, S.C.

Internet: Free Live Statistics at www.CofCSports.com

Twitter: @CofCBasketball

THE COACHES

College of Charleston: Doug Wojcik

First Year at CofC: 6-4 (.600)

Eighth Year Overall: 146-96 (.603)

Coastal Carolina: Cliff Ellis

Sixth Year at CCU: 103-65 (.613)

36th Year Overall: 715-414 (.633)

RADIO (College of Charleston Radio Network)

Play-By-Play: Everett German

Color Analyst: Danny Johnson

TELEVISION (MyTV Charleston/ESPN3)

Play-By-Play: Jeff McCarragher

Color Analyst: John Kresse


GAME PREVIEW

The College of Charleston men's basketball team (6-4, 1-0 SoCon) will close out its pre-Holiday slate with Coastal Carolina (4-5, 0-0 Big South) in a matinee matchup scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 22 at TD Arena. The Cougars and Chanticleers will tip-off at noon (ET) and the game will be carried live on the Charleston Sports Network on MyTV Charleston locally and ESPN3 nationally via WatchESPN.com. CofC recently snapped a two-game skid with a 76-65 win over Old Dominion on Dec. 18, getting a boost with the return of its two preseason All-Southern Conference performers in Andrew Lawrence and Trent Wiedeman in the lineup. Both teams will have played each other exactly a year ago as the Cougars prevailed with a 77-70 victory on Coastal's home court going into last year's holiday break. CofC has been shooting well on all cylinders with a 44.1 percent accuracy rate from the floor and 38.7 percent accuracy from downtown which ranks second-best in the Southern Conference. The team also limited their turnovers in their last contest against the Monarchs and shot 53.1 percent from the field - their second-best percentage of the season and continues to see dominating and consistent performances by sophomore big man Adjehi Baru, who leads the league in rebounding averaging 9.9 boards per game.

SCOUTING COASTAL CAROLINA

Coastal Carolina will be only three days removed from an impressive 23-point rout of Clemson (69-46) on Dec. 19. Defensively, the Chanticleers held the Tigers to just 32.1 percent shooting from the floor and 19 percent from beyond the arc in their home win over a major-conference opponent and second-straight in the series. Coastal is currently on a two-game win streak that includes a 75-38 victory over Toccoa Falls College on Dec. 13. The Chanticleers are ranked among the top 100 NCAA statistical leaders in rebounds per game (72nd, 38.4) and field-goal percentage (97th, 45.4). They are led by senior guard Anthony Raffa who is one of three players on the squad averaging double figures in scoring at 20.9 points per game which is also tops in the Big South Conference and ranks 10th-best nationally.

WATCH MYTV CHARLESTON

Local affiliate MyTV Charleston can be viewed locally over the air on Channel 36.1, on Channel 36 for DirecTV, Dish Network and AT&T U-verse subscribers as well as Channel 13 for Comcast, Knology and Time Warner cable subscribers in the Charleston, South Carolina, television market. MyTV Charleston also reaches as far as the Orangeburg, Walterboro and Georgetown areas.

WATCH ESPN3

ESPN3 is ESPN's live multi-screen sports network, a 24/7 destination that delivers thousands of global sports events annually and accessible online via WatchESPN.com. It is currently available to approximately 70 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider. The network is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks. It is also accessible through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold level members and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app through an affiliated provider.

PROJECTED COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON STARTERS

#22 Anthony Stitt, G, 6-1, 180, So. (8.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.5 apg, 32.8 min)

#4 Andrew Lawrence, G, 6-1, 185, Sr. (13.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 4.0 apg, 28.5 min)

#3 Anthony Thomas, F, 6-7, 207, Jr. (8.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.6 apg, 30.1 min)

#53 Willis Hall, F, 6-6, 235, RS-Jr. (6.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 0.9 apg, 21.4 min)

#1 Adjehi Baru, F, 6-9, 225, So. (10.0 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 0.6 apg, 34.3 min)

PROJECTED COASTAL CAROLINA STARTERS

#55 Kierre Greenwood, G, 6-2, 175, Sr. (11.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 4.8 apg, 30.9 min)

#2 Anthony Raffa, G, 6-1, 180, Sr. (20.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.8 apg, 32.7 min)

#13 Uros Ljeskovic, F, 6-8, 240, Fr. (3.6 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 0.1 apg, 13.8 min)

#0 Warren Gillis, G, 6-3, 200, So. (10.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.1 apg, 29.9 min)

#11 El Hadji Ndieguene, C, 6-10, 245, Jr. (6.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 0.4 apg, 27.7 min)

INSIDE THE SERIES

CofC holds a 33-12 advantage in the all-time series with Coastal Carolina. The Cougars have won 12 of the last 13 meetings between the two schools and rekindled the in-state series during the 2008-09 campaign. Both teams previously had not played each other since 1992-93.

LAST FOUR GAMES IN THE SERIES

W, 77-70 (+7) on Dec. 22, 2011 in Conway, S.C.

W, 83-67 (+16) on Nov. 16, 2010 in Charleston, S.C.

L, 59-70 (-11) on Nov. 13, 2009 in Conway, S.C.

W, 73-58 (+15) on Dec. 17, 2008 in Charleston, S.C.

COUGARS TREK TO NEW ENGLAND

After the holidays, the Cougars will trek to scenic New England for two final contests before ringing in the New Year. They will travel to Vermont for a return game scheduled for Dec. 29, which will be the first meeting for both teams since playing each other in the ESPN BracketBusters event in 2011. CofC will then travel to Marist for a New Year's Eve matchup on Dec. 31 in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

COUGAR SIDEBARS

Coach Wojcik has never faced Coastal Carolina in his eight years as a Division I head coach. However, he is an undefeated 3-0 against Big South Conference schools with a pair of wins versus Presbyterian in back-to-back seasons at Tulsa in 2007-08 and 2008-09 and CofC's most recent win over crosstown rival Charleston Southern on Nov. 28.

Coastal Carolina associate head coach Don Hogan played for Bob McKillop in high school and he and Matt Doherty were McKillop's first assistant coaches at Davidson in the early 90s. Coach Wojcik met Hogan through his time as an assistant coach at Navy, because they were both recruiting the same kind of kids to their respective programs. That led him to meeting Doherty and then becoming an assistant coach for him at Notre Dame from 1999-2000 and then on to North Carolina from 2000-03.

Coastal Carolina will be CofC's second opponent hailing from the Big South this season next to a 72-67 (+5) road win at Charleston Southern. In fact, the Cougars have won eight-straight contests against Big South opponents since their 70-59 loss at Coastal Carolina on Nov. 13, 2009, including victories over Winthrop (2009), Charleston Southern (2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012), Coastal (2010 and 2011) and UNC Asheville (2011) at the Battle 4 Atlantis in Paradise Island, Bahamas.

OLD DOMINION RECAP

CofC 76, Old Dominion 65

For the sixth time this season, the Cougars used the starting lineup of sophomore Anthony Stitt, senior Andrew Lawrence, junior Anthony Thomas, redshirt junior Willis Hall and sophomore forward Adjehi Baru (5-1). Lawrence returned to the lineup after missing the Anderson game recovering from a minor ankle injury.

With the win, CofC now leads 1-0 in the all-time series against Old Dominion and went 2-0 versus Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) opponents in non-conference play this season. The Cougars will join its new league on July 1, 2013.

The Cougars turned in their second-highest field-goal percentage of the season shooting 53.1 percent (26-of-49) for the game and 61.5 percent in the second half.

CofC also cut down on its miscues with their third-fewest turnovers of the season (15) against ODU.

Adjehi Baru was just short of another double-double with a game-high 20 points and nine rebounds. He shot a career-high 8-of-8 from the floor and an improved 4-for-5 from the free throw line. Baru is currently on a career-best three-game double-digit scoring streak. He is only the second CofC player this season to turn in a 20-point game next to Andrew Lawrence.

Anthony Thomas also turned in career-highs in points (13) and blocked shots (3) against the Monarchs.

After missing the last six games of the season recovering from an ankle injury against Auburn on Nov. 16, junior forward Trent Wiedeman made his return checking into the lineup at the 17:27 minute mark of the first half. He ended the night with seven points in 18 minutes of action.

Andrew Lawrence had a career-high tying five steals against the Monarchs in his return after missing the Anderson game with a minor ankle injury from the Louisville game on Dec. 4. He recorded his 300th career assist with six assists for a total of 303 to date.

ODU was only the second opponent this season, next to Louisville, to outrebound CofC, 31-29 (-2). The Monarchs came into the game as the No. 58-ranked team in the country in rebounds per game (38.9).

COUGAR SOUND BITES

"The tell-tale for them is that they beat Akron in their first game of the season. Akron is a very good mid-major program and Coastal was only down a couple at Ole Miss earlier this year. They absolutely annihilated and played harder than Clemson. Any team that has two senior guards who have played together for four years, as if they were brothers, are very dangerous. (Kierre) Greenwood is the straw that stirs their drink. He is the head that controls their body. (Anthony) Raffa is the guy who makes shots and gives them energy. He also makes plays and gives everyone courage. Obviously, Coach (Cliff) Ellis is a very experienced coach and we have our work cut out for us on Saturday." - CofC Head Coach Doug Wojcik on scouting Coastal Carolina

"The second half was a real tell-tale for us. You go through three or four halves between the Louisville game and Anderson game, we were really out of it, playing so well after winning four straight. I think we came out a little tight, but those two free throws that allowed us to run into the locker room tied, settled us down. When you look at our shooting it's pretty impressive. We are shooting the ball well from three at all seven positions except for Adjehi (Baru) and Trent (Wiedeman). We are above 33 percent and we are a dangerous team. If we take care of it like we did the other day and we continue to rebound, we have a lot to look forward to." - Coach Wojcik on how the team responded against Old Dominion on Tuesday

"Coastal is a really dangerous team and coming off a big win against Clemson. They have now beaten them two years in a row. They have two senior guards and will be a big challenge for us. We really needed that win on Tuesday. It gives us a lot of confidence going in and beating a good ODU team. We exploded in the second half with a lot of points which gave a lot of us more confidence. We are looking to build on and bring that success into Saturday's game." - Senior Point Guard Andrew Lawrence on having played Coastal Carolina the last three years and how big the Old Dominion win was for the team's confidence

"The win on Tuesday was definitely big for us. It gave us a lot more confidence after we lost our last game the previous Thursday (to Anderson). ODU is kind of struggling this year, but they are still a good team and have a really great post player. We executed offensively against them, which was what we needed to do, because we can't just rely on our defense. Coastal always comes out and plays hard. They have two senior guards this year in (Kierre) Greenwood and (Anthony) Raffa. They will definitely bring intensity and be aggressive out there on Saturday." - Junior Guard/Forward Nori Johnson on the Old Dominion win and what to expect against Coastal Carolina


Charleston Men's Basketball


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