CHARLESTON, S.C. – College of Charleston took UNC Asheville to overtime, but its second-half push fell short as the Bulldogs prevailed with its first victory of the season, 67-58, on Friday night at TD Arena.
Andrew Rowsey led UNC Asheville (1-2) with a game-high 23 points, while Jaron Lane had 13 and David Robertson 12. The Bulldogs avenged a previous two-point loss to the Cougars (1-2) in both teams’ last meeting in the second round of the Battle 4 Atlantis in 2011 in Paradise Island, Bahamas.
UNC Asheville shot 46.2 percent from the floor including 14-for-15 from the charity stripe. The Bulldogs led by as many as 14 points with 3:16 remaining in the first half of play.
The Cougars used a second-half surge to chip away at UNC Asheville’s lead. Junior Anthony Thomas (Winston-Salem, N.C.) came off the bench and hit a layup at the 14:35 minute mark to get CofC within one, 37-36.
Three minutes later, a tip-in by Thomas gave the Cougars’ their first lead of the contest, 40-39, at the 11:43 minute mark. Freshman Joe Chealey (Orlando, Fla.) followed that play with a steal and a layup to put CofC ahead 42-39. Thomas would end the night with eight points on 4-of-7 shooting from the floor in comparison to the team’s season-low shooting percentage from the field (31.4%) for the game.
Both teams traded baskets the rest of the way and senior Willis Hall knocked down a three-pointer with 35 seconds to go to send the game into the extra period.
The Bulldogs would eventually outscore the Cougars in overtime, 13-4, as Rowsey and D.J. Cunningham scored 12 of the team’s final points from the floor and free throw line.
CofC was led in scoring for the third-straight game by freshman Canyon Barry (Colorado Springs, Colo.) with 18 points. Junior big man Adjehi Baru (Abidjan, Ivory Coast) turned in his 10th career double-double with 12 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
The Cougars will host defending ACC champion Miami (Fla.) on Monday, Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m. (ET) at TD Arena. The game will be televised locally on MyTV Charleston and regionally on CSS.
· For third time of the season, the Cougars used the starting lineup of freshman Joe Chealey, junior Anthony Stitt, redshirt freshman Canyon Barry, senior Willis Hall and junior Adjehi Baru (1-2).
· In the loss, UNC Asheville now takes a two-game lead in the all-time series, 5-3.
· Canyon Barry turned in his third-straight game in double figures and to lead CofC in scoring with a team-high17 points. He also went a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe where he shoots them underhanded.
· Adjehi Baru recorded his first double-double of the season and 10th of his career with 12 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
· The Cougars played in their first overtime game since a double-overtime road loss at Elon on Feb. 2, 2012.
· Both squads shot exceptionally well from the free throw line as CofC made 90 percent (9-10) from the foul line and UNC Asheville 93.3 percent (14-15).
· The Cougars made their fewest turnovers of the season (6) against the UNC Asheville defense.
College of Charleston Head Coach Doug Wojcik
On the game …
“We had shots. Give them (UNC Asheville) credit they controlled tempo, but, we had looks, especially when you look at our shooting numbers from all of our guys minus Adjehi (Baru) and Anthony Thomas. AT took good shots and gave us good minutes tonight. I thought our press was effective. At the end of the day, you have to put the ball in the basket. We had a lot of shots blocked. They made 12. We made it past their first defender and (D.J.) Cunningham was very effective inside tonight. I thought we were engaged, and at the beginning, (Andrew) Rowsey’s range kind of surprised us. He is a heck of player. He extended the defense. They ran the shot clock down and hit some crucial shots. In the end, we didn’t make shots and it was disappointing.”
College of Charleston Redshirt Freshman Guard Canyon Barry
On the Cougars’ offensive execution …
“We struggled to convert on the offensive end tonight. We missed a ton of shots and it’s tough to win games that way. We ran a good offensive game, but just couldn’t convert.”
On the lesson learned from tonight’s game …
“One positive is that it showed our team’s heart. We fought back last game and we fought back again tonight. We have a chance to be really good, if we can just put a full game together. We need to thank our fans. It was a great atmosphere tonight.”
College of Charleston Junior Forward Adjehi Baru
On the overtime loss to UNC Asheville …
“We just didn’t start the game the way we were supposed to, that’s all. We didn’t play good enough defense, and now, we have to get re-focused and prepare for Miami on Monday.”