The Cougars (26-10) advance to their first NIT quarterfinal appearance and will face the winner of top-seeded Virginia Tech (22-11) and fourth-seeded Wichita State (25-8) who face off on Sunday, March 20 at 11 a.m. (ET) on ESPN.
Senior Donavan Monroe (Waxhaw, N.C.) scored a team-high 16 points, while senior Andrew Goudelock (Stone Mountain, Ga.) and freshman Trent Wiedeman (Suwanee, Ga.) added 13 points each. Junior Antwaine Wiggins (Greeneville, Tenn.) scored 11 for the Cougars, who held Cleveland State scoreless for nearly 8 minutes in the second half.
Norris Cole led Cleveland State with 18 points, but was 6-of-22 from the field and missed all eight of his 3-point attempts. The Vikings (27-9) shot a dismal 1-of 25 beyond the arc.
Wiggins' three-pointer with 8:42 remaining gave CofC the lead for good, 48-46. He added a three-point play to put the Cougars ahead by five, and the Cougars iced it at the foul line.
- For the 12th time this season, CofC used the starting five of senior Donavan Monroe, senior Andrew Goudelock, junior Antwaine Wiggins, sophomore Willis Hall and freshman Trent Wiedeman (9-3).
- With the victory, the Cougars take a 1-0 lead in the all-time series with Cleveland State. It also marked CofC's first appearance in the NIT quarterfinals having falling in the second round in 1996 and 2003.
- Andrew Goudelock missed scoring in single digits going 7-of-8 from the free throw line for 13 points. The nation's leader in three-pointers made per game (3.4 avg), he did not make a three-pointer (0-6) for the first time since going 0-for-3 against Elon on Feb. 11, 2010 at Carolina First Arena.
- Goudelock still continues to climb the NCAA all-time career scorers list with 2,540 career points to date which now ranks 44th. He also moved into third all-time in the Southern Conference record books past Frank Selvy of Furman (2,538).
College of Charleston Head Coach Bobby Cremins
On the game ...
"That was an interesting game. It wasn't a thing of beauty. (Norris) Cole can play some defense. They did a great job on (Andrew) Goudelock. They forced other players to make plays. Antwaine Wiggins hit a big three. They took us out of our game. We were trying everything to get the ball to Drew and get into a flow. We could not get into a flow. We went to a smaller lineup to help out our ball handling. Thankfully, they were not shooting well. They were 1-for-25 from three-point range. We had a couple of turnovers that upset me in the end. We had great respect for this team coming in. I would like to say it was our defense. They couldn't make some shots and we couldn't make some shots. It was kind of an ugly game. We were in trouble. It was not an offensive clinic, I can assure you."
College of Charleston Senior Guard Andrew Goudelock
On what got the team back on track in the first and second half ...
"We just stayed with it. They tried to double. We trusted each other. We played defense and moved the ball. Our offense wasn't really hitting and we weren't making shots. It wasn't spectacular. Our defense was really good. We switched to a two-three zone at the end and that gave them a couple of problems. We just played defense and it wasn't an offensive game for either team."
College of Charleston Senior Point Guard Donavan Monroe
On Norris Cole and Cleveland State ...
"He is one of the best we've ever played against. He can move his feet really quick and get low. He stepped up to the challenge tonight to play defense. I think he played defense so well, it took away from his offense today. He is a good player and all-around they are a good team. We are excited we get to play again."