Game #9-279: Chattanooga Mocs at Charleston CougarsJanuary 12, 2013 4:00 pm
Carolina First Center
This season, the College of
Charleston have been in a lot of very close games. Except for about 3 or 4 games (the opening win over Towson, the blowout loss to Louisville, and a couple of others), CofC has been in the game in the final minutes, as their average margin has been around a point and a half a game. With a record of 10-5 and 2-1 in the SoCon going into the game, the Cougars have gone through a lot of different phases in their game.
On Thursday night, they hosted Samford. They led by nine with 4:30 left, but blew the lead, losing by five in what was a major upset in the Southern Conference. Many Cougar fans were very mad. They complained about Coach Wojcik, and said they weren't going to games
unless the team got better soon. A Samford student from the Charleston area was at the game and took this picture of the score, @. I happen to be in the middle of it.
The Chattanooga Mocs came in after defeating The Citadel
on Thursday night. The Mocs had won five out of six heading into this battle. Earlier in the season, they gave Kansas one of their best battles of their non-conference schedule. CofC is one of Chattanooga's biggest rivals. They are two of the most illustrious programs in the league, and they have had several great games over the years.
Last year, it took two overtimes for the College to overcome a Chattanooga upset bid, while two seasons ago in their only meeting, Chattanooga won a 91-88 shootout at McKenzie Arena in Chattanooga.
During this game, they were honoring the 1983 NAIA National Champions, as it was the 30th anniversary of John Kresse's Cougars romping through Kansas City and winning the national title. The yearly alumni game was held on Saturday, with dozens of alumni from the 1970s until now playing in an inter-squad game earlier in the afternoon. Bobby Cremins and Kresse were two of the coaches.
The players also were honored during a media timeout in the first half, drawing a standing ovation, and at halftime, when the entire alumni group was on the court.
I had a very weird feeling driving downtown to this game. It was one of the warmest January days I can remember in Charleston. The high at the airport was 81 degrees, a record for the date. I was driving on the bridge from James Island (a barrier island just south of Charleston) to downtown and had my windows down. The average high for this date was in the upper 50s; we were more than 20 degrees over that today.
The beaches were very crowded; especially with CofC students; when a large percentage of the student body's main reason to come to the university is for the warm weather, that is not surprising.
The warm weather however held down the crowd. Most basketball programs nationwide don't have to deal with beach traffic; especially on a January day. With a large portion of the College of Charleston's students from the Northern states, this was one of their few chances to go to the beach until the spring.
The football playoffs also held some of the crowd. The student section was perhaps 40% filled, and the announced crowd of 3,722 was probably a little high.
But those who came to TD Arena enjoyed an offensive show. The Cougars got out to a quick 7-0 start over the Mocs, forcing Chattanooga head coach John Shulman to burn a timeout. It didn't get much better for the Mocs. At the under 12 timeout of the first half, CofC was up 18-2 and the game was effectively close to being over at that point. Chattanooga had a brief 8-2 run to cut the deficit to ten, but that was the closest they would get for the rest of the game.
CofC shot over 56% in the first half; while Chattanooga only shot 31%. The score at halftime was 50-24 in favor of the College of Charleston; and Coach Shulman was mad with his team.
The second half was more of the same. The College went on an aerial assault. They had multiple dunks in the second half, including one of the best I've ever seen by Adjehi Baru. He had a windmill, alley-oop dunk over a Chattanooga player, then falling back and somersaulting, which wowed the remaining crowd. Multiple replays of the dunk were shown on the video board; this rarely happens.
At one point, CofC was up by 35, 79-44. Coach Wojcik then decided to take the press off, and toward the end, he put in the younger players and the walk-ons. They did a good job today; Pat Branin made a 3 toward the end of the game; and Judson Hall (brother of Willis) picked up a rebound and had a great hustle play which brought the crowd to its feet.
The final was 86-59. The Cougars enjoyed a very nice win; they didn't need to hold on and protect their lead in the final seconds. Chattanooga was blown out in this game, but got a road win at The Citadel to grab a game on this road trip.
CofC goes to The Citadel on Monday night in what should be a loud McAlister Field House; Chattanooga doesn't play again until Thursday when they host Appalachian State in a very important North Division game.
The Cougars got a much needed home blowout win, which helped to qualm the fears of some of the fan base heading into one of their main rivalry games.
at CHARLESTON 86, CHATTANOOGA 59
CHATTANOOGA 7-10 (2-2) -- Z. Mason 3-14 0-0 6; G. McGhee 1-6 3-6 5; F. Cobb 3-7 0-0 7; R. White 2-4 5-5 10; D. Zlovaric 1-8 0-0 2; M. Bareika 0-4 0-1 0; J. Bryant 2-3 0-1 4; S. Watson 2-3 0-1 4; E. Robertson 3-4 0-0 9; A. Bran 3-5 1-2 7. Totals 20-58 9-16 54.
CHARLESTON 11-5 (3-1) -- A. Thomas 4-7 2-2 11; A. Lawrence 2-7 2-2 7; A. Stitt 8-13 1-3 20; A. Baru 5-9 3-4 13; W. Hall 4-6 3-4 13; T. Wiedeman 3-6 5-9 11; N. Johnson 0-4 0-0 0; T. Johnson 3-5 0-0 6; P. Branin 1-1 0-0 3; T. Dixon 0-1 0-0 0; H. Bowne 0-1 0-0 0; M. Sundberg 0-0 0-0 0; B. Benton 0-0 0-0 0; C. Cooke 0-0 0-0 0; J. Hall 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 31-62 16-24 86.
Three-point goals: CHAT 5-17 (D. Hampton 1-1; M. Bareika 0-1; Z. Mason 0-5; R. White 1-3; A. Bran 0-1; F. Cobb 1-3; E. Robertson 3-4), COFC 8-24 (A. Lawrence 1-5; W. Hall 2-3; N. Johnson 0-3; P. Branin 1-1; T. Dixon 0-1; A. Stitt 3-7; J. Hall 0-1; T. Johnson 0-1; A. Thomas 1-2); Rebounds: CHAT 27 (Z. Mason 7), COFC 43 (A. Baru 9); Assists: CHAT 8 (F. Cobb 2), COFC 18 (A. Lawrence 10); Total Fouls -- CHAT 18, COFC 15; Fouled Out: CHAT-None; COFC-None.