Game #9-202: Coastal Carolina Chanticleers at Charleston CougarsDecember 22, 2012 12:00 pm
Carolina First Center
The rivalry between the College of Charleston and Coastal Carolina University has grown into a very interesting series. The two schools are like each other in many ways. CofC is the fast-growing state university for the Charleston area; while Coastal Carolina is the fast-growing state university for the Myrtle Beach area.
Both universities are quickly expanding their athletic infrastructure. This season, Coastal built the HTC Center, their new basketball arena (a place I hope to go to soon). That arena was modeled as a downsized version of TD Arena in downtown Charleston. As Ian McCormick states in many of his recaps, Coastal was one of the hardest places to get a ticket to before their new arena opened, with tiny Kimbel Arena.
These schools, 100 miles apart, play in most sports; their baseball rivalry is especially intense, since both schools are usually contending for an NCAA regional berth and sometimes top 25 rankings. Coastal defeated CofC on a very controversial call in the 2010 NCAA Regionals in Myrtle Beach to head to the Super Regionals.
The College and Coastal have been playing since Coastal was an NAIA school as a branch campus of the University of South Carolina. Coastal had won just 11 of the 45 games in the rivalry heading into Saturday. CofC won ten straight against Coastal at one point, before Coastal won in the 2009-10 season opener.
The next season, Coastal traveled to Charleston in CofC's home opener. Coastal was up 15 points in the 1st half before Andrew Goudelock led a furious comeback, winning by 16, 83-67.
Last year's game between the two schools was held at Kimbel Arena. Matt Cayuela, a Coastal season ticket holder, recapped that game. It was a very interesting one. It was regarded as the "state championship" because the College of Charleston and Coastal Carolina had both already defeated Clemson during the season, and at that time it looked like the rest of the state was behind those two schools in basketball.
CofC took the game 77-70, but not without some weird things happening. Coastal was called for two technical fouls before the game started; for dunking in warm-ups. Andrew Lawrence made all four of the foul shots. At the end of the first half, Matt Sundberg swished one from half-court for three. Those seven points were the margin of the game, however strange they might seem.
The College was coming back from a hard-fought win against Old Dominion on Tuesday night, who upset Virginia in Richmond on Saturday. Coastal blew out the Clemson Tigers on their home floor, 69-46. This score shocked many observers in South Carolina and the nation. Coastal Carolina trended nationwide and worldwide on Twitter for a few minutes, and Anthony Raffa, the brash senior PG from NJ, scored 25 to lead the Chanticleers.
CofC got back Wiedeman and Lawrence for the ODU game, but Wiedeman got hurt trying to defend a dunk in the second half of the game. Wiedeman thus was out for this game. They did have Andrew Lawrence though.
The game was scheduled for a rare noon start by Coach Doug Wojcik to help give more time for the players to spend on their holiday break. CofC has just two players on the roster from South Carolina (Trevonte Dixon and Nori Johnson). With Andrew Lawrence from London (where he headed after this game), Adjehi Baru from Richmond, VA by way of the Ivory Coast, several from other parts of the nation, and the rest from either GA or NC, this was a logical idea.
This game had a good crowd for a matinee game three days before Christmas. Most of the lower deck was filled, with a small crowd in the student section because of break (some local community groups sat there); and a good number of Coastal fans, at least a couple hundred, made the trip from the Grand Strand (plus local alumni).
The game was expected to be a close one; a PG battle between Raffa and Lawrence. This wasn't the case. CofC led almost the entire game, with Coastal only tying the score twice in the first three minutes. The Cougars did a great job stopping Raffa and the rest of the team. He was making several bad shots in a row, and was being guarded by PG Anthony Stitt. Him along with the rest of the CofC defense held Coastal to just 32% shooting in the first half.
The halftime score was 26-19 in favor of the Cougars, but this was with a 5-0 run the Chanticleers made at the end of the half. The Cougars did a great job at getting Coastal's starters into foul trouble. Four important Coastal players, Warren Gillis, Uros Ljeskovic, Badou Diagne, and El Hadji Ndieguene, had at least two fouls in the first 15 minutes of the half, and Diagne had 3.
The Cougars got out to a quick 6-0 run to begin the second half, led by a Lawrence 3, making it a 13 point margin, and CofC dominated for the rest of the game. The Cougars led by as much as 22 in the second half, and the lead only got under double digits at the very end of the game when Coach Wojcik emptied the bench. Every player on the team except for Wiedeman got playing time.
The Cougars did a great job on the defensive end, limiting two of Coastal's starters, Raffa and Gillis, to no points. Raffa before the game was 10th in the nation in scoring at over 20 ppg. He was taken out late in the game after a bad shot, and sat on the bench for the rest of the game. I chanted, "No points! Cero!" and he heard me and nodded.
This kind of summed up the day for Coastal. After busing down earlier that morning, exuberant and ready for a big win against another in-state team, they were easily handled by a College of Charleston team without one of its top post players.
CofC came back to Charleston on Wednesday to get ready for a two-game road swing; one of the more interesting ones of the year in mid-major basketball. They will head to Vermont in a return of their Bracketbuster game from 2011 on Saturday, Dec. 29, and then close out 2012 with a trip to Marist on New Years' Eve before continuing with conference play on Jan. 5 against Furman.
Coastal will play again December 30 at home against Greensboro College before starting up Big South play on Jan. 5 at Longwood. Both teams are headed up in their athletic departments; hopefully conference realignment doesn't make this rivalry obsolete as the College of Charleston heads to the CAA while Coastal will have to decide within the next few years whether it is staying in the Big South or moving up.
at CHARLESTON 60, COASTAL CAROLINA 51
COASTAL CAROLINA 4-6 (0-0) -- K. Greenwood 6-12 4-4 17; E. Ndieguene 7-12 0-2 14; U. Ljeskovic 3-5 2-4 8; M. Enanga 2-2 2-3 7; W. Gillis 0-3 0-0 0; A. Raffa 0-6 0-0 0; J. Daniel 0-1 2-2 2; B. Diagne 0-5 1-2 1; C. Ashford 0-1 2-2 2. Totals 18-47 13-19 51.
CHARLESTON 7-4 (1-0) -- A. Baru 2-5 0-0 4; A. Stitt 6-9 7-9 22; A. Lawrence 2-5 1-2 7; W. Hall 3-3 2-2 8; A. Thomas 2-8 2-3 6; M. Sundberg 0-2 0-0 0; N. Johnson 3-8 0-0 8; T. Johnson 1-5 1-2 3; H. Bowne 0-0 0-0 0; T. Dixon 1-1 0-0 2; B. Benton 0-1 0-0 0; P. Branin 0-1 0-0 0; C. Cooke 0-0 0-0 0; J. Hall 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-48 13-18 60.
Three-point goals: CCU 2-10 (A. Raffa 0-2; K. Greenwood 1-1; W. Gillis 0-1; J. Daniel 0-1; B. Diagne 0-4; M. Enanga 1-1), COFC 7-23 (M. Sundberg 0-1; A. Lawrence 2-5; B. Benton 0-1; N. Johnson 2-5; P. Branin 0-1; A. Stitt 3-5; T. Johnson 0-2; A. Thomas 0-3); Rebounds: CCU 22 (M. Enanga 6), COFC 32 (W. Hall 6); Assists: CCU 5 (K. Greenwood 3), COFC 10 (A. Stitt 7); Total Fouls -- CCU 15, COFC 16; Fouled Out: CCU-None; COFC-None.