February 11, 2012, #ALLCAPSDAY, was a very exciting day in college basketball terms, especially in the Charleston area. Today was the only day of the entire season where all three of our local teams, the College of Charleston, Charleston Southern, and The Citadel, were home, playing at different times. Thursday night, the teams played at nearly the same time.
Today was a very convenient day to go to these three games. All of the start times were staggered. The Davidson/Charleston game was originally scheduled for noon for the SoCon TV package, but was moved to 3 p.m. to get on the package. High Point-Charleston Southern was a 5:30 p.m. start, and Georgia Southern-The Citadel began at 7:05. With a short ride between the three arenas, I could attend a good part of all three of these games.
The first game was probably the one with the most intrigue. It was Davidson, who had only lost one conference game on the season, and who beat Kansas in Kansas City in mid-December. The College of Charleston had won three out of four games, but that was after four consecutive losses in-conference, and the leave of absence for Bobby Cremins.
The team had to use all the fight it had to defeat Western Carolina by four, 62-58, being without Trent Wiedeman and Matt Sundberg, two of their top post players. Wiedeman was out for the entire game, and Sundberg was knocked out after the first half. He didn't play the second half of that game, and sat out today due to his lower leg injury. Wiedeman, however, came back.
This game was one of the highest attended games of the season, selling out on Wednesday morning, three days before the game. With the game also being Homecoming, the student section was filled minutes before game time. All 1,000 seats were filled.
Darren Goldwater and Dean Keener were also in the house for the SoCon Network, which carried the game throughout the Southeast on several different sources.
The game had a very exciting start. The Cougars got the first four points of the game, and the game only had two lead changes throughout. Most fans, even the most ardent CofC fans, could not have expected such a wonderful start. The students were going crazy over many calls.
The officiating, even from a neutral view, left a lot to be desired. Fifty-two fouls were called in the game. Several of those were of the ticky-tack variety.
Davidson coach Bob McKillop was going crazy after the refs in the first half. A couple of times, he nearly tripped on the bench, and had to be restrained by his assistant coaches. He was complaining about several of the bad calls that he thought should have gone Davidson's way.
CofC got out to a 32-20 lead with five minutes left in the half, but Davidson didn't give up, cutting the deficit to just five at the half. This was with James Carlton having three fouls, and a couple of others with two fouls.
Lots of honors were given out on this day. The CofC women's tennis team got their SoCon championship rings. The Athletics Hall of Fame honored three new inductees, including basketball star under John Kresse, Thaddeous Delaney. But the loudest cheers came for the Homecoming court. A King, Queen, Princess and Prince were named.
Kelly Krauser of the sorority Phi Gamma Delta was named Homecoming Queen, and she got the loudest cheers from the students at halftime.
Foul trouble was a problem for the Cougars in the second half. This was after CofC brought the lead out to 17 points with 16:14 to go. The students, and most of the rest of the crowd, were all riled up because of several calls going against the Cougars. Most of the fans heavily booed the calls on the jumbotron, as Adjehi Baru, Trent Wiedeman, and James Carlton all fouled out for the Cougars.
Davidson had some bad calls go against them, too, but got some good ones, too. Three times during the second half, the officials let substitutions go after the substitution horn went off.
Baru fouled out with a minute to go after he was called for a technical for throwing an elbow. The others fouled out on more "normal" calls, but the fans did not agree with any of them. Because they already did not have Sundberg for this game, and were without Willis Hall and Anthony Stitt, the Cougar bench was down to Jordan Scott and Trevonte Dixon for scholarship players, and then three walk-ons.
Trevonte made two clutch free throws in the final minute when Davidson was going on a run to try to close the gap. Because of all the fouls, the TV timeouts from the SoCon Network and the long halftime, the game was very long for mid-major basketball, stretching 15 minutes past the usual two hours. Thankfully, finally, after 40 hard-fought minutes of basketball, the Cougars won by eight, 86-78.
THIS WAS A VERY GOOD GAME, PLAYED BY THE RULES BY THE PLAYERS, EVEN WITH OFFICIATING THAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER. BOTH TEAMS CAN FIND WAYS TO IMPROVE. COFC HAS TO GO TO UNCG ON WEDNESDAY, WHILE DAVIDSON HOSTS SAMFORD WEDNESDAY NIGHT. THE RACE FOR SECOND AND OTHER SPOTS IN THE SOCON SOUTH DIVISION WILL BE INTERESTING.
at CHARLESTON 86, DAVIDSON 78 02/11/2012
DAVIDSON 19-6 (13-2) -- J. Kuhlman 1-5 2-4 4; D. Brooks 9-19 5-7 25; N. Cochran 2-8 6-6 12; C. Czerapowicz 5-11 2-2 15; J. Cohen 2-8 9-11 13; T. Droney 2-4 0-0 4; C. Mann 2-3 1-2 5; T. Kalinoski 0-1 0-0 0; F. Ben-Eze 0-0 0-0 0; C. Tormey 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-59 25-32 78. CHARLESTON 16-10 (8-7) -- A. Wiggins 6-14 9-13 25; A. Baru 1-4 3-7 5; N. Johnson 5-10 4-5 17; J. Scott 2-6 0-0 5; A. Lawrence 3-8 3-4 11; J. Carlton 1-2 1-3 3; T. Wiedeman 8-11 0-0 16; T. Dixon 1-1 2-4 4. Totals 27-56 22-36 86.
Three-point goals: DAV 7-25 (J. Kuhlman 0-3; N. Cochran 2-5; J. Cohen 0-3; D. Brooks 2-6; C. Czerapowicz 3-7; T. Droney 0-1), COFC 10-20 (A. Wiggins 4-7; A. Lawrence 2-4; N. Johnson 3-5; J. Scott 1-4); Rebounds: DAV 33 (D. Brooks 9), COFC 32 (A. Wiggins 10); Assists: DAV 13 (J. Kuhlman 5), COFC 11 (A. Lawrence 5); Total Fouls -- DAV 27, COFC 25; Fouled Out: DAV-C. Czerapowicz; COFC-A. Baru.