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Cougars Host George Mason In CBI First Round
Courtesy: CofCSports.com  
Release: 03/18/2013
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COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON (24-10, 14-4 SoCon) vs. GEORGE MASON (18-14, 10-8 CAA)

2013 College Basketball Invitational First Round

Game #35

March 19, 2013 7:00 p.m. (ET)

TD Arena/John Kresse Court (5,100)

at Charleston, S.C.

Television: AXS TV

Radio: College of Charleston Radio Network (ESPN Radio 910 AM)

Series History: CofC Leads 3-1

Last Meeting: George Mason def. CofC, 84-76, on Dec. 30, 2011 in Charleston, S.C.

Internet: Free Live Statistics on www.CofCSports.com

Twitter: @CofCBasketball

THE COACHES

College of Charleston: Doug Wojcik

First Year at CofC: 24-10 (.706)

Eighth Year Overall: 164-102 (.617)

George Mason: Paul Hewitt

Second Year at GMU: 42-23 (.646)

16th Year Overall: 298-212 (.584)

RADIO (College of Charleston Radio Network)

Play-By-Play: Jeff McCarragher

Color Analyst: Everett German

TELEVISION (AXS TV)

Play-By-Play: Rich Cellini

Color Analyst: Darrin Horn


GAME PREVIEW

The College of Charleston men's basketball team (24-10) hosts George Mason (18-14) in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational presented by Buick on Tuesday, March 19 at 7 p.m. (ET) at TD Arena. The Cougars are making their third all-time appearance in the CBI, while the Patriots their first. CofC, who compiled the second-best league record in the Southern Conference and reached the conference tournament finals for the fourth time in seven years just short of a trip to the Big Dance, will join George Mason as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association on July 1. The Cougars have made great strides on both the defensive and offensive ends of the floor under first-year head coach Doug Wojcik this season. CofC currently ranks No. 55 nationally in scoring defense (61.7 ppg), No. 61 in field-goal percentage defense (40.4%), No. 17 in three-point field-goal percentage (29.5%), No. 30 in rebound margin (+5.7) and No. 10 in personal fouls per game (14.4) as of March 17. The Cougars have had nearly a week to prepare for George Mason after a 74-55 loss to top-seeded Davidson in the SoCon championship game on March 11 in Asheville, N.C. Senior point guard Andrew Lawrence (London, England) and sophomore big man Adjehi Baru (Abidjan, Ivory Coast) were named to the All-SoCon Tournament First Team.

A LOOK AT GEORGE MASON

Under second-year head coach Paul Hewitt, George Mason went 3-3 in its last six games of the season falling to top-seeded Northeastern (L, 67-69) in the semifinals of the CAA Championship on March 10 in Richmond, Va. The Patriots opened up the year with a 63-59 win over Virginia on Nov. 9 and with close losses to 2013 NCAA Tournament participants Bucknell (L, 56-61) on Nov. 13 and New Mexico (L, 69-70) on Nov. 18 in the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. They are paced by junior guard Sherrod Wright, who is averaging a team-leading 16.5 points per game.

WATCH AXS TV

AXS TV will broadcast select games from each round of the 2013 CBI beginning on March 19 and continuing through the Championship series. Fans who don't already have AXS TV as part of their high-definition programming package, can find it in their local area or subscribe at: www.axs.tv/subscribe. AXS TV can be viewed on Channel 340 by DIRECTV subscribers, Channel 362 on DISH Network, Channel 1106 on AT&T U-verse, Channel 918 on WOW (formerly Knology) and Channel 569 on Verizon FiOS. Channel positions for other cable system partners can be found by checking local listings. To join in the conversation on Twitter, follow @AXSTV and use #axsCBI. 

COUGARS ALL-TIME IN THE CBI

The Cougars are 2-2 all-time in College Basketball Invitational play with first-round road victories at Troy and Eastern Kentucky. They previously reached the quarterfinals of the tournament in 2009 and 2010 under former head coach Bobby Cremins. Tuesday night's contest will mark the first time CofC has hosted a CBI game in program history. The Cougars are an unbeaten 2-0 in first-round meetings and 0-2 in the quarterfinals.

COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON ALL-TIME CBI APPEARANCES (3)

2009 - College of Charleston at Troy, W, 93-91, First Round on 3/18/09 in Troy, Ala.

2009 - College of Charleston at Richmond, L, 72-74, Quarterfinals on 3/23/09 in Richmond, Va.

2010 - College of Charleston at Eastern Kentucky, W, 82-79, First Round on 3/17/10 in Richmond, Ky.

2010 - College of Charleston at VCU, L, 86-93, Quarterfinals on 3/22/10 in Richmond, Va.

2013 - George Mason at College of Charleston on 3/19/13 in Charleston, S.C.

TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE

Tickets are available for purchase for $15 general admission and CofC students will be admitted free with a valid student ID. Fans can purchase CBI tickets in advance of the game by calling the CofC Athletics Ticket Office at (843) 953-COFC, in-person at the TD Arena Box Office or online at www.cofcsports.com/tickets.

POSTSEASON TOURNAMENT RESUME

College of Charleston heads into postseason play as one of 52 Division I schools currently with 24+ wins on the season. The Cougars are rated No. 134 in the latest NCAA RPI report released on March 18. They played four-straight major-conference schools for the first time in program history in non-conference play against St. John's (BIG EAST) on Nov. 15, Auburn (SEC) on Nov. 16, Boston College (ACC) on Nov. 18 and Baylor (Big 12) on Nov. 24. CofC went 1-1 versus Top 25-ranked teams with a road upset of then No. 21 Baylor (W, 63-59) on Nov. 24 and a home loss to No. 5 Louisville (L, 38-80) on Dec. 4. The Cougars won 12 of their last 15 games of the season. Two of their three losses in that particular stretch were against eventual SoCon Tournament champion Davidson. CofC compiled an impressive 11-2 mark away from the friendly confines of TD Arena and is currently tied with the second-most road wins (11) in Division I this season.

COUGARS ON THE AIRWAVES

Fans can listen to all CofC men's basketball games throughout the 2012-13 postseason 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 TD Arena on the College of Charleston Radio Network.

PROJECTED COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON STARTERS

#22 Anthony Stitt, G, 6-1, 180, So. (10.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.3 apg, 32.8 min)

#4 Andrew Lawrence, G, 6-1, 185, Sr. (13.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.6 apg, 32.4 min)

#3 Anthony Thomas, F, 6-7, 207, Jr. (8.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.6 apg, 29.0 min)

#53 Willis Hall, F, 6-6, 235, RS-Jr. (7.7 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 0.8 apg, 24.3 min)

#1 Adjehi Baru, F, 6-9, 225, So. (9.6 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 0.6 apg, 30.6 min)

PROJECTED GEORGE MASON STARTERS

#0 Bryon Allen, G, 6-3, 214, Jr. (7.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.5 apg, 25.8 min)

#10 Sherrod Wright, G, 6-4, 196, RS-Jr. (16.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.5 apg, 32.1 min)

#13 Corey Edwards, G, 5-11, 170, So. (4.6 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 2.8 apg, 20.5 min)

#5 Jonathan Arledge, F, 6-9, 223, Jr. (8.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 0.7 apg, 18.6 min)

#4 Erik Copes, C, 6-8, 244, So. (5.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 0.5 apg, 24.1 min)

INSIDE THE SERIES

College of Charleston leads 3-1 in the all-time series with George Mason dating back to both program's first-ever meeting during the 1997-98 season under legendary head coach John Kresse. The last three contests between the Cougars and Patriots have been decided by eight points or less including CofC's two-point road win (85-83) at Mason in an ESPN BracketBusters matchup on Feb. 20, 2010 in Fairfax, Va. Last season, the Patriots claimed their first victory in the series with an 84-76 decision over the Cougars on their home court on Dec. 30, 2011 at TD Arena.

LAST FOUR GAMES IN THE SERIES

L, 76-84 (-8) on Dec. 30, 2011 in Charleston, S.C.

W, 85-83 (+2) on Feb. 20, 2010 in Fairfax, Va.

W, 74-70 (+4) on Dec. 12, 1999 in Charleston, S.C.

W, 68-56 (+12) on Nov. 25, 1997 in Fairfax, Va.

AGAINST THE CAA

CofC is 35-12 (.745) all-time versus schools hailing from its future conference, the Colonial Athletic Association. The Cougars have faced Towson (2-1), Delaware (2-0), Drexel (2-0), George Mason (3-1), Georgia State (16-6), James Madison (1-0), UNC Wilmington (8-4) and Old Dominion (1-0).

COUGAR SIDEBARS

CofC Head Coach Doug Wojcik is 2-0 lifetime against CAA opponents in his eight years as a Division I head coach and has never faced a George Mason squad. However, as a former starting point guard and team captain at the U.S. Naval Academy from 1985-87, Wojcik helped the Midshipmen to two CAA regular-season and tournament titles in 1986 and 1987. Navy teammate David "The Admiral" Robinson turned over his CAA MVP Award to Wojcik, citing his unselfish play and leadership abilities in 1986.

Coach Wojcik previously led the University of Tulsa to the inaugural CBI title defeating Bradley in the best of three-game series in 2008. The Golden Hurricane defeated Miami (Ohio) in the first round, Utah in the quarterfinals and Houston in the semifinals. They went 2-1 versus Bradley in the Championship series. Overall, Wojcik is 6-3 all-time in postseason tournament games including a 5-1 mark in the CBI and a 1-2 mark in NIT appearances in 2009 and 2010.

The Cougars last played host to a postseason tournament game at TD Arena against Dayton (W, 94-84) in the first round of the Postseason NIT on March 15, 2011. They went on to reach the quarterfinals and were seven points away from a trip to Madison Square Garden with an 82-75 road setback at Wichita State on March 23, 2011 - the program's longest run in the month of March.

SOUTHERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME RECAP

Davidson 74, CofC 55

For the 28th time this year, CofC used the starting lineup of sophomore Anthony Stitt, senior Andrew Lawrence, junior Anthony Thomas, redshirt junior Willis Hall and sophomore forward Adjehi Baru (22-6).

With the loss, the Cougars drop to 1-5 all-time in the finals of the Southern Conference Tournament having only won the championship title in their inaugural season in the league in 1999.

CofC shot a season-low 29.8 percent (17-of-57) from the field and season-low 10 percent (1-of-10) from behind the three-point line against Davidson.

Andrew Lawrence registered 19 points including an 8-for-9 performance from the charity stripe versus Davidson. He moved into 23rd all-time in career points surpassing former CofC great Mike Beckett (1,204) with 1,205 career points to date.

Adjehi Baru scored in double figures for his second of three league postseason tournament games with 11 points.

COUGAR SOUND BITES

"It's a great opportunity for us to play in the postseason. When you play in a league that is No. 28-or-29 in the RPI, your situation is what it is. We played a good non-conference schedule and have two BCS wins. We made great progress this season. We got better in a couple of areas, especially taking care of the ball and we shot the ball very well from the free-throw line in the conference tournament. We have become a good defensive team. We won 24 Division I games, which is pretty incredible." - CofC Head Coach Doug Wojcik on the team's progression and accomplishments this season which led to a postseason tournament berth

"George Mason has two good wing players in Sherrod Wright and Bryon Allen. They attack off the dribble. We have to contain the ball, play defense without fouling and not send them to the free-throw line. We also have to do a good job of withstanding their pressure. After free throws and after dead balls, we have to handle their press. We will have to take care of the ball and limit our turnovers." - Coach Wojcik on scouting George Mason

"It is a huge honor to be invited to any postseason tournament play. Unfortunately, we were not able to make the NIT, but we are unfortunate to be in the CBI. We will play a great opening-round game against George Mason. They return a lot of guys from that particular squad that beat us last year at home and are a really strong team. It will be a good opportunity for the younger guys on the team to play against a top-level CAA school before entering the league next year. It is also a great opportunity for us to be able to play again and I'm excited to play another home game as a senior. We go into it with the intentions of winning, but know it will be a tough game. We know we still have a lot to play for this season." - Senior Point Guard Andrew Lawrence on playing in the postseason and the rematch with George Mason

"It's another chance to play at home which is always a plus for us. We are looking to make a statement, since we are joining the CAA next year. They (George Mason) are a guard-oriented team and it should be a good matchup between their guards and our back court. We had a couple of days off and got our legs back last week. Now, we are just fine tuning our game plan for postseason play in practice. We are looking forward to seeing how we measure up to them physically. We expect it to be a very good match-up tomorrow night." - Sophomore Guard Anthony Stitt on playing in the postseason and matching up against George Mason and their guards


Charleston Men's Basketball


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