Game #9-079: Boston College at Charleston CougarsNovember 18, 2012 12:00 pm
Carolina First Center
The final day of the Charleston Classic started at high noon on a Sunday. The first game would feature the home team in the tournament, College of Charleston, taking on Boston College of the ACC. This was not the game that the home fans wanted to be seeing their team play in. The first game on the final day was reserved for the two teams that after the first two days were 0-2 in the tournament. And as both Matt Cayuela
and Joe Wright
pointed out in their recaps, it would not be a good sign if College of Charleston were to finish in last in a tournament played on their homecourt. TD Arena has had a history of producing Red Line Upsets, and the Cougars have played in many of them. But this would be their last chance in the tournament at getting one of their own.
For most of the games in this tournament I sat fairly close to one of the ESPNU monitors either on the scorers' table or press row. They also had ESPNU on at times on the TD Arena video screen. One graphic pointed out the number of wins over major conference teams the Cougars have had in recent years, known to us as Red Line Upsets. Each year except for one at TD Arena the Cougars have been able to pull off a signature upset win over a big name school. They beat South Carolina four years ago, North Carolina three years ago, and Tennessee last year
. They also beat Tennessee in Knoxville two years ago and won at Clemson last year. It is amazing that the Cougars are able to keep luring big name teams to come play them in Charleston considering the scheduling difficulties most mid-majors have. But College of Charleston has a successful tradition of taking on big name teams and then often beating them in Charleston. That has not been the case however all the time. C of C did lose to Clemson in their attempt at a home RLU two years ago, and earlier in the Charleston Classic lost to both St. John's and Auburn. If the Cougars were to continue their home Red Line Upset tradition, they would likely have to win here against Boston College. C of C will face Louisville of the Big East soon, but beating the Cardinals would take a lot more than any of the other previous RLUs have taken here. This was just a 7th place game, but it was big for Charleston. Yet Charleston did not seem to come out and support their Cougars. For most games against major teams, C of C usually packs TD Arena. The Auburn and St. John's games weren't packed, but they were mostly full. Without football, College of Charleston does support its basketball team better than most mid-majors in South Carolina do. Joe Wright in his recap hypothesized the low turnout was due to Sunday church services. That probably had to do with some of the low turnout, which I think would have been better if the game did not start at noon. If the game started later, it would be more removed from the Sunday church services and would have meant that C of C had won already in the tournament. That C of C had lost twice and apparently their home magic with it probably hurt more than church attendance. I also think the unusual circumstances of the tournament
also hurt attendance than if it had been a regularly scheduled game against Boston College as well. The student turnout was especially bad, also likely due to the noon start. With the students, it was probably less to do with church attendance and probably more to do with making a noon tip would hurt chances to sleep in on the weekend. The arena was barely over half full, mainly boosted by Dayton fans that had come for the next game. But the few fans that did show up were largely enthusiastic in wanting the College of Charleston to continue its traditions. They stood for the first basket as always, and gave their Cougars a slight home court edge.
But most importantly we did have ten percent of all TMM9 participants at this game! We did not have Bill Murray here (who showed up for the final session of the tournament) but we did have 800 Games Project recap champion Matt Cayuela
here! I had anticipated Matt as more likely to come for the second session, especially with him getting back from North Carolina the night before. But then I saw a tweet from him saying that he was at the first session. I looked around the arena to see if I could spot him, and eventually I did at the end of the first half. I saw him sitting about five rows directly behind me reading his program.
And of course we also had my Hopping Cats teammate Joe Wright
at the game. Joe was easy to pick out in his gray C of C sweater and was often the only student standing up behind the basket. He even once got a chance to touch a Boston College player who went out of bounds.
The Cougars would get back Andrew Lawrence, who was out sick for the Auburn game. But late in that Auburn game
Trent Wiedeman would leave the game with a leg injury, and instead of playing against Boston College he was on crutches.
The big question was if Lawrence was healthy enough to carry a shorthanded Cougar team to a RLU this time around. Early on, things did not look too promising. Lawrence was able to get more rest with foul trouble in the first half. Boston College led most of the first half, but never could quite take over. It seemed however that this would be a very similar game to the Auburn game, where a shorthanded Charleston team would not be able to quite come up with a RLU against a weak power conference team.
But Boston College was also missing Ryan Anderson, whose hot shooting had kept the Eagles in their game with Baylor on the first day of the tournament. And Lawrence returned for the second half and was surprisingly effective coming off an illness. Lawrence's poise and leadership evened the game quickly in the second half, and it would be close throughout. The shooting of Anthony Stitt and the defense coached by Doug Wojcik allowed the Cougars to pull out in front with 12 minutes left, and it seemed that C of C might be able to pull away as they were up eight with five minutes left. But the players besides Lawrence were not able to take care of the ball and gave up transition baskets to BC to make it close again. It was up to Lawrence to make free throws to close the game out, and his makes and missed threes on the other end by the Eagles allowed C of C to hold on for yet another RLU at TD Arena. Lawrence's Great Britain team had been able to salvage a lone victory against China in their Olympics, and now he was able to lead C of C to salvage a victory in their home tournament.
College of Charleston was able to continue its RLU tradition. This would be important in getting the Cougars back on track, which would get another RLU on the road more recently at Charleston Classic participant Baylor. It was great for the fans of the tournament host to have their own Red Line Upset, although they were unable to rush the court like in previous RLUs at home. I don't think Joe Wright could have rushed the court all by himself. It was more of a relief that College of Charleston did not finish in last at home, and the tournament also gave them a chance to improve before the start of SoCon play as well. at CHARLESTON 71, BOSTON COLLEGE 67
BOSTON COLLEGE 1-3 (0-0) -- J. Rahon 3-9 6-9 13; P. Heckmann 6-9 2-2 18; O. Hanlan 1-7 2-2 4; L. Jackson 5-11 0-0 14; D. Clifford 5-9 0-0 11; E. Odio 1-2 0-0 2; D. Rubin 0-1 0-0 0; A. Van Nest 0-5 3-3 3; K. Caudill 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 22-55 13-16 67.
CHARLESTON 2-2 (0-0) -- A. Baru 3-7 0-1 6; A. Stitt 5-13 2-2 14; W. Hall 3-4 1-2 8; T. Johnson 2-6 0-0 5; A. Thomas 4-5 2-2 10; A. Lawrence 5-8 10-12 22; N. Johnson 1-6 0-1 3; M. Sundberg 1-3 0-0 3; T. Dixon 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-52 15-20 71.
Three-point goals: BC 10-29 (A. Van Nest 0-2; D. Rubin 0-1; D. Clifford 1-2; P. Heckmann 4-6; L. Jackson 4-9; E. Odio 0-1; O. Hanlan 0-2; J. Rahon 1-6), COFC 8-21 (M. Sundberg 1-2; A. Lawrence 2-5; W. Hall 1-2; N. Johnson 1-4; A. Stitt 2-4; T. Johnson 1-3; A. Thomas 0-1); Rebounds: BC 27 (J. Rahon 7), COFC 30 (W. Hall 11); Assists: BC 13 (L. Jackson 3), COFC 9 (A. Stitt 4); Total Fouls -- BC 20, COFC 17; Fouled Out: BC-None; COFC-None.