Cougars To Face Long-Time Rival Wofford In Regular-Season Home Finale
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON (20-9, 12-4 SoCon) vs. WOFFORD (12-17, 6-10 SoCon)
February 28, 2013 • 7:30 p.m. (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: Wofford Leads 76-54
Last Meeting: CofC def. Wofford, 79-50, on Jan. 26, 2013 in Spartanburg, S.C.
Internet: Free Live Statistics on www.CofCSports.com
College of Charleston: Doug Wojcik
First Year at CofC: 20-9 (.690)
Eighth Year Overall: 160-101 (.613)
Wofford: Mike Young
11th Year at Wofford: 168-170 (.497)
11th Year Overall: 168-170 (.497)
RADIO (College of Charleston Radio Network)
Play-By-Play: Everett German
Color Analyst: Danny Johnson
Play-By-Play: Jeff McCarragher
Color Analysts: Nate Ross and John Kresse
It seems rather strange this could be the last time either team will meet on the hardwood. As the College of Charleston (20-9, 12-4 SoCon) prepares to move from the Southern Conference to the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) in four months, its long-time rivalry with South Division foe Wofford (12-17, 6-10 SoCon) is somewhat bittersweet. Both the Cougars and Terriers will meet for the 131st time - since the 1920-21 season to be exact - on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m. (ET) at TD Arena. CofC's final regular-season home finale will be televised live locally on MyTV Charleston and carried nationally on ESPN3/WatchESPN.com. The Wofford series is the longest-running one between the Cougars and their SoCon counterparts as well as in program history ahead of 108 all-time meetings versus NCAA Division II Newberry College and 90 all-time meetings against crosstown rival The Citadel. CofC is looking to rebound from a disappointing 55-52 setback to Gardner-Webb in ESPN BracketBusters on Feb. 23, while Wofford is currently on a two-game winning streak with a 53-47 road victory at Georgia Southern on Feb. 21. The Cougars have already clinched one of four first-round byes in the upcoming 2013 SoCon Tournament on March 8-11 in Asheville, N.C., boasting the second-best overall record and league mark behind Davidson.
The last time both teams faced each other, the Terriers had only won two league games. Since then, Wofford has gone 4-4 in its last eight contests after dropping a 79-50 decision to the Cougars on Jan. 26 in Spartanburg, S.C. The Terriers have won four of their last six - five of which have been against North Division foes and decided by 10 points or less. With one of the youngest squads in the league, that youth has developed in a short period of time behind the leadership of sophomore guard Karl Cochran (3rd, 15.7 ppg) and freshman guard Spencer Collins (19th, 12.5 ppg), who both rank among the top 20 scoring leaders in the SoCon.
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.
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. (10.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.2 apg, 32.9 min)
#4 Andrew Lawrence, G, 6-1, 185, Sr. (13.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.8 apg, 32.1 min)
#3 Anthony Thomas, F, 6-7, 207, Jr. (8.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.6 apg, 28.7 min)
#53 Willis Hall, F, 6-6, 235, RS-Jr. (7.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 0.7 apg, 24.0 min)
#1 Adjehi Baru, F, 6-9, 225, So. (9.9 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 0.6 apg, 31.2 min)
PROJECTED WOFFORD STARTERS
#11 Indiana Faithfull, G, 6-2, 200, So. (4.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 3.7 apg, 26.2 min)
#2 Karl Cochran, G, 6-1, 170, So. (15.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.7 apg, 30.7 min)
#32 Spencer Collins, G, 6-4, 200, Fr. (12.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.0 apg, 27.9 min)
#34 Lee Skinner, F, 6-6, 212, So. (10.1 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 2.0 apg, 34.3 min)
#14 Aerris Smith, F, 6-8, 250, Jr. (2.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 0.2 apg, 24.6 min)
Wofford leads 76-54 in the all-time series with College of Charleston. The Cougars ended a three-game losing stretch to the Terriers with their 29-point rout (79-50) on Jan. 26 - the team's fourth-highest scoring output of the season. It was also the largest margin of victory in the most recent portion of the series since a 25-point win at home (79-54) on Feb. 3, 2011 at TD Arena. In Southern Conference play, CofC owns a 23-8 mark versus Wofford since joining the league in 1998. The Cougars last swept the regular-season series during the 2010-11 campaign, but three times wouldn't be the charm as Wofford beat CofC in the SoCon championship game to earn the league's automatic NCAA berth in 2011 in Chattanooga, Tenn.
LAST 10 GAMES IN THE SERIES
W, 79-50 at Spartanburg, S.C. on 1/26/13 (+29)
L, 59-68 at Charleston, S.C. on 1/28/12 (-9)
L, 58-75 at Spartanburg, S.C. on 1/5/12 (-17)
L, 67-77 at Chattanooga, Tenn.^ on 3/7/11 (-10)
W, 79-54 at Charleston, S.C. on 2/3/11 (+25)
W, 77-73 at Spartanburg, S.C. on 1/8/11 (-4)
L, 68-74 at Spartanburg, S.C. on 2/25/10 (-6)
W, 70-68 at Charleston, S.C. on 1/22/10 (+2)
W, 86-84 at Charleston, S.C. on 2/26/09 (+2)
W, 65-63 at Spartanburg, S.C. on 1/15/09 (+2)
^ SoCon Tournament
SENIOR SWAN SONG
CofC will honor seniors Bart Benton (Monroe, Ga.), Matt Sundberg (Kennesaw, Ga.) and Andrew Lawrence (London, England) prior to tipoff of Thursday night's game against Wofford. The three were originally recruited by former head coach Bobby Cremins and his staff and have provided vital leadership this season to the team during the transition process. Benton, a walk-on, is currently applying to law school and holds the highest grade-point average on the team, while Sundberg, who redshirted in 2010-11, was a member of Cremins' second recruiting class and part of a 27-9 campaign as a freshman in 2008-09. Lawrence, whose father, Renaldo, played for Cremins at Appalachian State in the late 70s, became the 30th player in school history to gain entrance into the elite 1,000 career-point club and most recently recorded his second-straight 100+ assist season against Gardner-Webb on Feb. 23. All three are on track to graduate in May.
"They have all helped me and our team with the transition and contributed to us having the second-best record in the league. Anytime you can win 20 Division I games and win on a ranked team's home floor at Baylor - it comes back to having older, experienced guys like Andrew, Matt and Bart, who have all been true team players and played to their roles this season. We really want to send them off the right way on Thursday night."
COUGARS IN REGULAR-SEASON HOME FINALES
The Cougars have 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. Last year, CofC defeated Georgia Southern (58-53) to send off former standout and lone senior Antwaine Wiggins with a win in his final home game as a Cougar on Feb. 23, 2012 at TD Arena.
• Coach Wojcik is 1-0 lifetime versus Wofford in his eight years as a Division I head coach. He has compiled a 12-5 record versus Southern Conference opponents with wins over Elon, Furman, Chattanooga (twice), The Citadel (twice), Wofford, Appalachian State, UNCG, Samford, Georgia Southern and Western Carolina this season.
• It will be one big high school reunion on Thursday as a number of players on both the CofC and Wofford rosters played with each other prior to their careers in the SoCon. Brothers Willis ('09) and Judson Hall ('10) are alumni of Charlotte Christian School as is Wofford senior guard Taylor Wagener ('09). Meanwhile, CofC sophomore guard Anthony Stitt played alongside Wofford junior forward Aerris Smith at Butler High School in Charlotte, N.C. Sophomore guard Trevonté Dixon was also former teammates with Wofford freshman forward Zach Korkowski at Christ School in Arden, N.C., where they led the Greenies to a North Carolina Independent School state championship title in 2010-11 and played alongside Marshall Plumlee of Duke and Demarcus Harrison of BYU.
• Wofford Associate Head Coach Paul Harrison previously served as a graduate assistant coach at the CofC from 1996-98 under legendary head coach John Kresse. During those two seasons, the team compiled a 53-9 overall record. The Cougars also won two TAAC Championships and made two trips to the NCAA Tournament in 1997 and 1998. He later returned to CofC for two seasons from 1999-01 as the Cougars captured a pair of SoCon South Division titles.
Gardner-Webb 55, CofC 52
• For the 25th time this year, CofC went with the starting lineup of sophomore Anthony Stitt, senior Andrew Lawrence, junior Anthony Thomas, redshirt junior Willis Hall and sophomore forward Adjehi Baru (19-6).
• With the win, Gardner-Webb evened the all-time series to 1-1 with College of Charleston. Both teams last met during the 2000-01 season where the Cougars prevailed with an 81-63 victory over the Runnin' Bulldogs under legendary head coach John Kresse.
• It was also CofC's first loss to a Big South Conference opponent in its last 10 games versus a school hailing from the league. They entered the contest on a nine-game win streak.
• The Cougars are now 5-2 all-time in ESPN BracketBusters games having lost their first late-season, non-conference contest since their first appearance in the event back in 2004. They had previously won five consecutive BracketBusters matchups against VCU (2005), Georgia State (2006), George Mason (2010), Vermont (2011) and Kent State (2012).
• Andrew Lawrence turned in his seventh double-figure scoring game in the last eight contests with a game-high 16 points including 4-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc. He has now tabulated 1,131 career points which ranks 26th on the all-time career scoring list in the CofC record books. With his four assists against Gardner-Webb, Lawrence turned in his second consecutive 100+ assist season (103) to give him 374 for his career which ranks 11th all-time.
• CofC was a held to a season-low tying 33.3 shooting percentage from the floor (18-of-54) which tied its 33.3 shooting percentage (16-of-48) versus Anderson University on Dec. 13.
• Defensively, the Cougars held Gardner-Webb to its third-fewest points of the season (55), but the Runnin' Bulldogs also did the same to CofC with its fifth-fewest points (52). Both entered the second-ever meeting between the two schools ranked No. 47 and No. 72 nationally in scoring defense.
COUGAR SOUND BITES
"They (Wofford) are playing pretty well right now. They have the one local kid back who was hurt earlier this season in (John) Swinton. Mike Young is a very good coach. They are a tough team to defend and run a lot of stuff offensively. They have a guy who can go out and get 20 (points) at any point in Karl Cochran. Spencer Collins is as good of a freshman as there is in our league. He and Tim Williams from Samford are the top two freshmen in the SoCon. We played really well there (in January). They have a lot of pride in their program and a rivalry has developed over the years. We are expecting a hard-fought game on Thursday." - CofC Head Coach Doug Wojcik on preparing for Wofford on Thursday night at TD Arena
"We have a lot to accomplish still. Saturday was a huge disappointment (against Gardner-Webb). Any time you are a competitor, you don't like to lose. First and foremost, the Wofford game is our next game. It's our next opportunity to play. As a college player, you may only get 120 opportunities to play in your career. Secondly, we are trying to improve our overall record for our resume for postseason play. It's hard enough to get into the NCAA Tournament. It's extremely difficult to get into the NIT. Surprisingly, it's really hard to get into the CBI and CIT as well. There are 347 schools out there and not everyone gets to go to the postseason. Third, you want to gain momentum. You want to feel good about yourself going into Asheville." - Coach Wojcik on the team having already clinched a first-round tournament bye, but still having a lot yet to accomplish with two regular-season games remaining against Wofford and Furman
"They (Wofford) are a very good team and we will be well-prepared for Thursday. We just have to go out and play hard. It's always a big game for us, because of the rivalry that's developed over the years. It's also a very special game for us three seniors (Andrew Lawrence and Bart Benton). We are the best of friends on-and-off the court. To play in our last game together in TD Arena is going to be a special moment for us." - Redshirt Senior Forward Matt Sundberg on preparing for Wofford on Senior Night
"In our first game against Wofford, it was a high-scoring game. We did a great job of defending them. In our next game, we expect them to come out and play hard. They will want to get a win on our home floor. We have to stick to our defensive principles, play hard and defend their go-to guy in Karl Cochran. He is a big key to their game as well as trying to stop Spencer Collins." - Sophomore Guard Anthony Stitt on what worked against Wofford in both teams' first go-around this season and preparing for the Terriers on Thursday night