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Cougars Close Out Regular Season at Crosstown Rival The Citadel

Courtesy: CofCSports.com
          Release: 02/24/2012
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COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON (18-11, 9-8 SoCon) vs. THE CITADEL (6-22, 3-14 SoCon)

Game #30

February 25, 2012 3:00 p.m. (ET)

McAlister Fieldhouse (6,000)

at Charleston, S.C.

Television: SoCon Sports Network/ESPN3

Radio: Cougar Sports Network (ESPN Radio 910 AM)

Series History: CofC Leads 48-39

Last Meeting: CofC def. The Citadel, 83-64, on Dec. 1, 2011 in Charleston, S.C.

Internet: Free Live Statistics at www.CofCSports.com

Twitter: @CofCBasketball

THE COACHES

College of Charleston: Mark Byington

Interim Year at CofC: 6-3 (.667)                

Interim Year Overall: 6-3 (.667)

The Citadel: Chuck Driesell

Second Year at The Citadel: 16-44 (.267)

Second Year Overall: 16-44 (.267)

RADIO (Cougar Sports Network)

Play-By-Play: Jeff McCarragher

Color Analyst: Everett German

TELEVISION (SoCon Sports Network/ESPN3)

Play-By-Play: Darren Goldwater

Color Analyst: Dean Keener

GAME PREVIEW

The College of Charleston men's basketball team (18-11, 9-8) will close out the regular season at crosstown rival The Citadel (6-22, 3-14) on Saturday, Feb. 25 at McAlister Fieldhouse. Tipoff between the Cougars and Bulldogs is set for 3 p.m. (ET). The game will be televised live on the Southern Conference Sports Network and carried nationally on ESPN3. CofC has won five of its last six games including a 58-53 decision over Georgia Southern on Feb. 23, while The Citadel has won its last two which ended an 11-game losing skid. Two of the younger teams in the league this season, both schools have adjusted to changes in personnel and have not met since an early December meeting in which the Cougars prevailed (83-64) at TD Arena. It will be another battle of the bigs as CofC's Trent Wiedeman (8.8 rpg) and Adjehi Baru (6.3 rpg) go up against The Citadel's Mike Groselle (9.5 rpg). In fact, CofC is the only league team to have three players ranked among the top 10 in the rebounding column as Wiedeman is second only to Groselle and joined by Baru (8th) and Antwaine Wiggins (7th). The Cougars hope to continue their momentum leading into next week's SoCon Tournament on March 2-5 at the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville, N.C. They currently rank No. 30 nationally in three-point field goals per game (8.1 avg) and second in the league in scoring offense (70.1 ppg) and field-goal percentage defense having limited opponents to 41.8 percent shooting from the floor this season.

SCOUTING THE CITADEL

The Bulldogs have strung together two wins in a row with a 48-46 road win at Chattanooga on Feb. 18 and a 62-51 victory over Appalachian State on Feb. 22. Like CofC, they have one lone senior on the roster in Cosmo Morabbi with 80 percent of their squad comprised of underclassmen this season. Groselle, a junior who leads the league with 13 double-doubles on the year, also ranks 11th in the country in field-goal percentage with a 59.2 accuracy from the floor. The Citadel is currently 4-9 on its home court and has lost its last two contests when playing the Cougars at McAlister Fieldhouse.

SOCON TOURNAMENT SCENARIOS

Four of the South Division seeds are a lock as CofC owns the tiebreaker over Furman if the two teams should tie at 9-9 after Saturday's final regular-season games. The Cougar will be seeded fourth in the upcoming 2012 SoCon Tournament on March 2-5 in Asheville, N.C. Georgia Southern and Wofford will battle for the No. 2 and No. 3 divisional seeds for the right to earn a first-round bye or play four-straight games. Over on the North Division side of the bracket, only the No. 1 and No. 6 seeds have been decided with UNCG and Chattanooga respectively.

STRONG FINISHES

The Cougars have always made a big push and a strong finish in their last six games of the regular season in the five years prior to their current run. They are currently 4-1 and one more win would give them their fourth-straight 10-win season in SoCon play. CofC has also won three of its last four regular-season finale games dating back to a 77-59 home victory over Furman to close out the 2007-08 regular season, prior to the SoCon Tournament.

COUGARS IN LAST SIX GAMES OF SEASON

2011-12: 4-1??

2010-11: 4-2

2009-10: 4-2

2008-09: 5-1

2007-08: 3-3

2006-07: 4-2

WIGGINS WATCH

Senior Antwaine Wiggins is one of only four players to rank among the top 10 league leaders in scoring and rebounding this season. He currently ranks 15th all-time in the CofC record books in career scoring with 1,278 points which is eighth-most in the program's Division I history. He also ranks fifth all-time in career rebounding (692) and seventh all-time in career three-pointers made (173). Wiggins is three rebounds shy of surpassing former CofC great Sedric Webber (694) for fourth all-time in Division I career rebounding.

COFC ALL-TIME TOP 10 CAREER SCORING LIST

1. Andrew Goudelock (2007-11) - 2,540

2. Ken Gustafson (1971-75) - 2,135

3. Greg Mack (1981-85) - 1,901

4. Sam Meade (1970-74) - 1,812

5. Thaddeous Delaney (1994-97) - 1,564

6. Dontaye Draper (2003-07) - 1,541

7. Jeff Bolton (1999-02) - 1,527

8. Marion Busby (1992-95) - 1,504

9. Tony White, Jr. (2006-10) - 1,499

10. Steven Johnson (1984-88) - 1,456

11. Ron Theis (1972-76) - 1,414

12. Ahdonus Cofer (1988-92) - 1,330

13. Pat Harrington (1977-81) - 1,307

14. Tony Mitchell (2001-05) - 1,280

15. Antwaine Wiggins (2007-Present) - 1,278

COFC DIVISION I TOP 5 CAREER REBOUNDING LIST

1. Thaddeous Delaney (1994-97) - 1,119

2. Jermaine Johnson (2006-09) - 949

3. Jody Lumpkin (1998-01) - 710

4. Sedric Webber (1996-99) - 694

5. Antwaine Wiggins (2007-Present) - 692

COFC ALL-TIME TOP 10 CAREER THREE-POINTERS MADE LIST

1. Andrew Goudelock (2007-11) - 396

2. Marion Busby (1992-96) - 220

3. Tony White, Jr. (2006-10) - 219

4. Tony Mitchell (2001-05) - 216

5. Troy Wheless (1999-03) - 208

6. Dontaye Draper (2003-07) - 207

7. Antwaine Wiggins (2007-Present) - 173

8. Jeff Bolton (1998-02) - 166

9. Thomas Mobley (2001-04) - 158

10. Andrew Lawrence (2009-Present) - 147

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.

SOCON SPORTS NETWORK AVAILABILITY

This Week's Southern Conference Game of the Week between CofC and The Citadel will be televised on ETV's SOUTH CAROLINA CHANNEL which can be found in the state of South Carolina on Time Warner Cable (Channel 171), Comporium Communications (Channel 202), Comcast (Channel 192), Charter Communications (115), Southern Coastal Cable Communications (Channel 78), HTC Cablevision (Channel 100), PBT (Channel 701), Pinetree Cable (Channel 66), Fairfield Communications (Channel 203), Homestar Entertainment - Berkley Cable TV (Channel 145), West Carolina Communications (Channel 15) and Davidson Cable TV (Channel 162). Please click on the following link to find SCC in your coverage area:

http://scetv.org/index.php/television/information/sc_channel

COUGARS ON THE RADIO

Fans can listen to all CofC men's basketball games throughout the 2011-12 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 McAlister Fieldhouse on the Cougar Sports Network.

PROJECTED COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON STARTERS

#4 Andrew Lawrence, G, 6-1, 185, Jr. (12.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 5.7 apg, 35.5 min)

#11 Nori Johnson, G/F, 6-5, 205, So. (5.9 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 0.6 apg, 17.7 min)

#30 Antwaine Wiggins, F, 6-7, 185, RS-Sr. (16.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 2.2 apg, 35.1 min)

#44 Trent Wiedeman, F, 6-8, 240, So. (12.0 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 0.8 apg, 31.0 min)

#1 Adjehi Baru, F/C, 6-9, 227, Fr. (7.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 0.6 apg, 26.7 min)

PROJECTED THE CITADEL STARTERS

#10 Marshall Harris III, G, 6-1, 175, Fr. (4.6 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 2.6 apg, 19.1 min)

#11 DeVontae Wright, G, 6-0, 179, So. (8.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.6 apg, 26.1 min)

#15 Jordan Robertson, F, 6-7, 232, Fr. (2.9 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 0.3 apg, 10.9 min)

#34 Bo Holston, F, 6-4, 204, RS-Jr. (5.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.0 apg, 22.5 min)

#31 Mike Groselle, C, 6-7, 238, Jr. (16.6 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 1.9 apg, 35.1 min)

SERIES HISTORY

The Cougars hold a 48-39 advantage in the all-time series with The Citadel dating back to a 25-7 decision over the Bulldogs in 1901, and have won 17 of the last 20 meetings between the two schools. CofC is currently on a three-game winning streak and looking to sweep the series for the second-straight year.

LAST 10 GAMES IN THE SERIES

W, 83-64 at TD Arena on 12/1/11 (+19)

W, 85-63 at McAlister Field House on 2/17/11 (+22)

W, 87-66 at TD Arena on 1/15/11 (+21)

L, 65-72 at TD Arena on 2/8/10 (-7)

W, 61-55 at McAlister Field House on 1/9/10 (+6)

L, 58-72 at TD Arena on 2/14/09 (-14)

L, 63-72 at McAlister Field House on 1/24/09 (-9)

W, 66-48 at North Charleston Coliseum^ on 3/7/08 (+18)

W, 63-48 at John Kresse Arena on 2/4/08 (+15)

W, 69-46 at McAlister Field House on 1/14/08 (+23)

^SoCon Tournament

COUGAR SIDEBARS

CofC sophomore forward/guard Nori Johnson (Duncan, S.C.) and Citadel redshirt sophomore guard Nathan Conley (Vienna, W.Va.) both played for long-time head coach Fletcher Arritt at Fork Union Military Academy in Fork Union, Va. Johnson has been a fixture in the Cougars' starting lineup and has flourished averaging 5.9 points and ranking third on the team in steals (30).

Coach Byington is one of two current interim head coaches in the Southern Conference next to UNCG interim head coach Wes Miller. Byington, 35, is the third-youngest coach in the league behind Miller, 29, who is the youngest Division I head coach in the country and Appalachian State head coach Jason Capel, 32. He claimed his first career coaching victory at Samford on Jan. 30 and is currently the 18th youngest coach in America.

1. Wes Miller, UNCG                                                Jan. 28, 1983 (29)

2. Andy Toole, Robert Morris                                  Sept. 11, 1980 (31)

3. Jason Capel, Appalachian State                        Jan. 15, 1980 (32)

4. Brian Wardle, UW-Green Bay                             Oct. 9, 1979 (32)

5. Archie Miller, Dayton                                           Oct. 30, 1978 (33)

18. Mark Byington, College of Charleston                        April 22, 1976 (35)

The Cougars have been without the services of five players this season due to injury. Junior Willis Hall, one of two returning starters from last year's NIT squad, suffered a season-ending ACL injury during preseason workouts in October. Redshirt junior Matt Sundberg missed the team's season opener against Holy Cross on Nov. 11 with an ankle injury, while freshman big man Adjehi Baru missed two games against Georgia Southern on Jan. 21 and Wofford on Jan. 28 due to a sprained ankle. Freshman Anthony Stitt missed 12 games with a broken left hand stemming from an injury against UNCG on Jan. 12 and sophomore Trent Wiedeman missed the Western Carolina game with a sprained ankle on Feb. 9.

GEORGIA SOUTHERN RECAP

CofC 58, Georgia Southern 53

For the ninth time this season, CofC used the starting lineup of junior Andrew Lawrence, sophomore Nori Johnson, senior Antwaine Wiggins, sophomore Trent Wiedeman and freshman Adjehi Baru (5-4).

With the win, the Cougars improve to 21-18 in the all-time series with Georgia Southern. It marked the fourth-straight contest between both programs in which the game was decided in single digits (+5).

CofC has now won 10 consecutive Senior Nights dating back to a 73-71 victory over Georgia Southern on March 1, 2003 under former head coach Tom Herrion at John Kresse Arena.

Trent Wiedeman led the Cougars in scoring for the sixth time this season with a game-high 18 points. He is currently on a career-best six-game double-digit scoring streak.

Antwaine Wiggins, who played in his final home game of his career, registered 10 points and moved past former CofC greats Jermaine Johnson (1,276) and Jody Lumpkin (1,269) to rank 15th all-time in career scoring with 1,278 career points to date (eighth all-time in the program's Division I history).

For the second-straight game, the Cougars snapped their opponents' win streak including Georgia Southern (six games) and Kent State (seven games) on Feb. 18.

Freshman Anthony Stitt checked into the ballgame at the 15:33 minute mark of the first half. It marked his first minutes since suffering a broken left hand (his non-shooting hand) against UNCG on Jan. 12. He had missed 12 contests during his recovery.

COUGAR SOUND BITES

"It seems like every team we are playing right now is playing well. The Citadel is playing good basketball. They slow things down, are limiting possessions and are being more deliberate. It fits their personnel. Their freshmen are growing up. Mike Groselle is as good as any post player in the league. It is going to be a big challenge in that type of atmosphere with a quick turnaround. We have a lot of obstacles, but I hope we can keep our momentum going and keep playing defense like we have been, and hopefully, we can execute a little better on offense." - CofC Interim Head Coach Mark Byington on the crosstown rivalry with The Citadel on Saturday

"You see a lot of crazy basketball scores this time of year. You can throw a lot of records out. Momentum is as quick as what happened in our game tonight (against Georgia Southern). We go on a run and the other team goes on a run. Runs happen. The season is a long season. Right now, (Citadel) Coach (Chuck) Driesell has done a great job of figuring out their team and they are playing good basketball. They are playing at level right now that is better than they have all season. It is a different team we saw in December and a different team than they were three weeks ago. They gave Georgia Southern all they could handle and they are coming off of two great wins over Chattanooga and Appalachian State. They should have confidence and we should have confidence and I expect a good game on Saturday." - Coach Byington on what has changed since both team's last met in December

"They are playing well right now and have won their last two (games). They will definitely have a lot of confidence and it will be a crazy environment with all of the Cadets there. We just have to play with composure and not lose our cool and we will be fine." - Sophomore Forward Trent Wiedeman on The Citadel

"It's a rivalry game and every rivalry game is big for us. We are going to be playing a different Citadel team than we saw the first time (back in December). We are excited about this game and it is another good chance for us to get tested, before the SoCon Tournament." - Junior Point Guard Andrew Lawrence on the crosstown rivalry matchup with The Citadel on Saturday

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