DAVIDSON, N.C. – Redshirt senior forward Willis Hall (Charlotte, N.C.) registered a career-high 26 points and 21 rebounds to lead College of Charleston to its first road win at former Southern Conference rival Davidson, 76-64, since 2009 on New Year’s Day at Belk Arena.
The Cougars (7-7) also avenged three consecutive losses to the Wildcats (4-10) a year ago including in the conference tournament championship game that sent Davidson to its second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
Hall, a member of several great teams in the last four-year span at CofC, picked up his first-ever win in the same arena he attended Davidson basketball camps at a youngster. He shot 10-of-14 from the field and went 5-for-8 from the free throw line. It marked his eighth career double-double and fourth of the season. Hall has led the team in scoring and rebound over the last five contests. He becomes the first known CofC player to record a 20-20 performance in the NCAA Division I era of the program.
Both squads played two even halves as the score was tied on 12 occasions, mostly in the first half, and the lead exchanged 13 times. The Cougars led by as many as 15 points as senior reserve Nori Johnson (Greer, S.C.) went 2-for-2 from the free throw line with 1:07 remaining in regulation.
Johnson, who has now scored in double figures in back-to-back games off the bench, ended the game with 11 points as did senior small forward Anthony Thomas (Winston-Salem, N.C.) with 11.
For the game, CofC shot a season-best 60.5 percent from the field (26-of-43) against the Wildcats, who were outrebounded on the glass, 39-17. Davidson was led in scoring by Brian Sullivan with 13 points and Tom Droney with 12.
The Cougars will return home to host Howard (3-13) in their final non-conference tune-up before CAA play on Saturday, Jan. 4 at 4 p.m. (ET) at TD Arena. The game will be televised live locally on MyTV Charleston.
· For the second time this season and second-straight game, the Cougars used the starting lineup of Anthony Stitt, Canyon Barry, Anthony Thomas, Willis Hall and Adjehi Baru (2-0).
· With the win, College of Charleston claimed only its fourth-ever victory in the all-time series on the road at Davidson and first since 2009.
· The Cougars have now compiled an impressive 14-3 record over the last two years in road games. The win also avenged three-straight losses to Davidson, including a 74-55 setback to the Wildcats in last year’s Southern Conference championship game.
· Willis Hall turned in his second-straight double-double outing with a game-and career-high 26 points and career-high 21 rebounds. It marked his eighth double-double of his career and fourth of the season. Hall is the first known CofC player in the program’s NCAA Division I history to record a 20/20 performance. He becomes the first player since Thaddeous Delaney (1994-97) recorded 21 rebounds in a game against Charleston Southern on Dec. 9, 1995. It ranks as the seventh-most rebounds in a single game in program history.
· Anthony Thomas made a season-high and career-high tying three blocked shots against the Wildcats. He also turned in 11 points and six rebounds in the winning cause.
· CofC shot a season-best 60.5 percent from the floor (26-of-43) at Davidson. The Cougars previously shot 56.9 percent against Furman on Nov. 23. It was also the team’s second-highest scoring output of the season (76 points).
· Anthony Stitt continues to have a great floor game dishing out a career-high nine assists with just two turnovers against the Wildcats.
· David Wishon registered a career-and season-best eight points in 17 minutes of play off the bench.
· The CofC defense held Davidson to one of its lowest-scoring games of the season (64). The Wildcats entered the game averaging 75.4 points per contest.
College of Charleston Head Coach Doug Wojcik
On the road win at former SoCon rival Davidson …
“It’s a big win for us and the program. We lost to them three times last year. I was made well aware of the rivalry when I was first hired for the job. I think I am similar to Coach (Bob) McKillop. We both try to run a complete program from the social to the academic to the basketball side of things. It sure helps to inherit a Willis Hall, an Anthony Stitt and an Adjehi Baru. All three have done a great job and bought in. This win really propels us and pushes us forward to Satutrday’s game with Howard and our CAA home opener against James Madison the day before classes start next week.”
On Willis Hall’s double-double 20/20 performance …
“I’ve had some pretty good players in the past. But certainly, they did not have the endurance, the rebounding, the scoring and the leadership as Willis Hall. I’m so happy for him. He came to camp here at Davidson growing up and played in front of his hometown crowd. It was an unbelievable performance today.”
On Anthony Stitt’s ball handling over the last two games …
“He (Anthony) has done a phenomenal job. We now have a two-headed monster with him and Joe Chealey. It’s unfortunate that Canyon (Barry) got hurt, but some other guys have picked us up. Between Nori Johnson and David Wishon, they had 17 points today and that is scoring we normally do not have and that’s how we score 76 points against Davidson.”
College of Charleston Redshirt Senior Forward Willis Hall
On the difference in the first and second halves of play …
“They (Davidson) had nine offensive rebounds in the first half which gave them 13 second-chance points. In the second half, by the four-minute mark, we had only given up one offensive rebound. When you take away a stat like that, usually everything else works itself out. They started off the game with six of their first eight points being second-chance opportunities. When you take that away, you make it a lot easier on your defense and make it a lot easier to get out and run, because you are getting rebounds.”
On the team’s second-half run …
“Davidson is always a great team. They don’t give up. We had them down 15 (points) and they hit-back-to-back threes. They don’t give up. A game like that other teams might deflate, but we knew to keep going and keep up what we were doing. We knew they weren’t going down without a fight.”