As I made my way down to Charleston Southern to see them host Wofford I was wondering how the Buccaneers would do on their Senior Night. I had just watched Coastal Carolina put up a lackluster performance for their seniors, and I was at Presbyterian on their Senior Night and it didn't end well for them either when the Blue Hose fell to Liberty.
I knew it would be a different kind of Senior Night for CSU, though, as they have a very young team and only one senior. That senior is the team leader Kelvin Martin who has been a joy to watch anytime I was able to catch a CSU game. Martin gave his all every time I saw him on both sides of the floor so I surely thought the Buccaneers would come out and want to win one for the heart and soul of the program.
I had plenty of time to get down to CSU and had some time to kill, so instead of going straight to North Charleston I headed to downtown Charleston for some food. There are tons of options and I usually plan for this type of thing better ahead of time, but I wasn't too sure where I wanted to go once I got down there. What was a beautiful day was turning cloudy as impending rain was slowly moving in. There were a good amount of people walking the streets, but once the first signs of rain came they all headed towards the restaurants or bars. This made finding a place to go that wasn't packed quite difficult. I remembered the Southend Brewery had an upstairs bar and figured not everyone would know about it. Luckily I was right and was able to get a seat, but the food and service I had left a lot to be desired.
While sitting at the bar I went to the Charleston Southern website just to quadruple check that I had the right game time. I noticed they had posted a fan advisory to get to the game early. Since I had showed up to CSU late before I knew I wanted to get to the Bucdome early to secure a good spot. We've already discussed at length how small the CSU Field House is, and while I had to go early to secure my seat today, hope is in the future as they announced a few days ago that a new arena is in the works.
When I got there about 50 minutes before gametime there were plenty of spots still available in the general admission. I had read how Ian McCormick and Joe Wright had sat in the front row and figured I'd go the same route. The good part about being in the first row is that there is no one to get in your way of watch the action and you are literally three feet from the court.
The bad part is that since the general admission stands are so small you'll probably have someone's knee in your back the whole game.
As the game got closer more people wedged into the CSU Field House and the listed attendance of 971 was no exaggeration this time. I know many will laugh at that number, but I was happy to see that CSU really cared about the last game of the year and wanted to send Martin and the Bucs in their final home game.
Martin didn't disappoint on the night as he went out and had 15 points and 11 boards ... in the first half!! You could tell he was very pumped up on the night, but he didn't let his emotions get the best of him since he still played under control. Wofford didn't have much of a chance as CSU went on a big run sparked by Martin's play and some big 3's from Jeremy Sexton. CSU's coach Barclay Radebaugh even used the first half to get time for some end of the bench players Greg Dorleus and Mitchell Deter, who got some big cheers when they checked in.
With the Buccaneers up 16 at the half I figured with it be tough for Wofford to make this a close one, but CSU has been prone to some cold streaks in the past so the possibility was there for a comeback. It didn't look that way though after Martin opened the half with a huge alley-oop dunk where his head almost hit the rim, and since he's only 6'4" that's quite the feat. Obviously the Bucdome started rocking at that point.
Wofford was able to narrow the lead down to eight with some strong play from Kevin Glitner, but the Terriers couldn't get any closer than that. Sexton hit a few more jumpers and Martin added some more crowd pleasing dunks to close the game. Martin ended up with a career high of 27 and I was glad to see such a steady player finish off his Senior Night with a great performance.
It's hard to believe I have already been to 50 games so far this year, and it amazes me even more that Kyle was able able to do over 100 on a yearly basis. While the CSU game wasn't competitive towards the end I'm glad it was my 50th. It was a fun time and a great atmosphere, all the things you can ask for when you go to Our Game.
at CHARLESTON SOUTHERN 77, WOFFORD 59 02/18/2012
WOFFORD 17-12 (10-6) -- K. Giltner 6-12 4-5 21; B. Loesing 4-14 5-7 13; K. Cochran 3-10 1-3 7; D. Crowell 3-4 2-3 8; A. Smith 1-2 0-0 2; L. Skinner 2-5 0-1 4; J. Byrd 0-1 1-2 1; D. Rinksalis 0-1 0-2 0; M. Steelman 1-1 0-0 3. Totals 20-50 13-23 59. CHARLESTON SOUTHERN 17-10 (10-6) -- K. Martin 9-15 9-10 27; S. Nimley 1-8 5-6 8; P. Gombwer 1-5 0-1 2; A. Harper 4-11 2-2 10; J. Sexton 6-9 4-4 19; C. Grier 1-3 2-2 5; M. Muo 0-2 2-2 2; C. Bowen 0-2 0-2 0; S. Strickland 1-1 0-0 2; M. Deter 0-0 0-0 0; G. Dorleus 0-0 0-0 0; M. Kennedy 0-0 0-0 0; T. Odom 0-0 2-3 2. Totals 23-56 26-32 77.
Three-point goals: WOFF 6-23 (K. Giltner 5-9; M. Streelman 1-1; B. Loesing 0-7; K. Cochran 0-4; L. Skinner 0-2), CHSO 5-14 (J. Sexton 3-5; M. Muo 0-1; C. Grier 1-2; A. Harper 0-2; S. Nimley 1-3; P. Gombwer 0-1); Rebounds: WOFF 31 (K. Giltner 8), CHSO 35 (K. Martin 14); Assists: WOFF 7 (B. Loesing 5), CHSO 6 (S. Nimley 4); Total Fouls -- WOFF 23, CHSO 23; Fouled Out: WOFF-None; CHSO-None.