No. 3 Seeded Cougars To Face No. 2 Seeded Elon In SoCon Semifinals

COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON (23-9) vs. ELON (21-10)

2013 Southern Conference Men’s Basketball Championship Semifinals

Game #33

March 10, 2013 • 8:30 p.m. (ET)

U.S. Cellular Center (7,674)

at Asheville, N.C.

 

Television: ESPN3/WatchESPN.com

Radio: College of Charleston Radio Network (ESPN Radio 910 AM)

Series History: CofC Leads 12-5

Last Meeting: CofC def. Elon, 56-54, on Dec. 1, 2012 in Elon, N.C.

Internet: Free Live Statistics on www.SoConSports.com

Twitter: @CofCBasketball

 

THE COACHES

College of Charleston: Doug Wojcik

First Year at CofC: 23-9 (.719)

Eighth Year Overall: 163-101 (.617)

Elon: Matt Matheny

Fourth Year at Elon: 59-66 (.472)

Fourth Year Overall: 59-66 (.472)

 

RADIO (College of Charleston Radio Network)

Play-By-Play: Jeff McCarragher

Color Analyst: Everett German

 

TELEVISION (ESPN3)

Play-By-Play: Darren Goldwater

Color Analyst: Dean Keener

College of Charleston Cougars men's basketball

Andrew Lawrence

 

GAME PREVIEW

The third-seeded College of Charleston men’s basketball team (23-9) will take on second-seeded Elon (TBA) in the semifinals of the 2013 Southern Conference Tournament on Sunday, March 10 at 8:30 p.m. (ET) at the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville, N.C. The game will be carried nationally on ESPN3/WatchESPN.com. The Cougars make their 10th all-time appearance in the semifinals and last faced the Phoenix four months ago – the only league team they have not seen in the New Year. CofC won 56-54 behind a double-double performance from redshirt junior forward Willis Hall (Charlotte, N.C.), who registered a game-high 19 points and 12 rebounds. The Cougars currently rank No. 36 nationally in rebounds per game (38.0 rpg) and boast the league’s second-best scoring defense holding opponents to 61.4 points a contest. CofC has won 11 of its last 13 games, while Elon has a similar track record having won 13 of its last 16. Both have compiled 20-win seasons and are playing some of their best basketball of the season – and at the most crucial time. The winner will move on to Monday’s championship game to face either top-seeded Davidson (24-7) or fourth-seeded Appalachian State (15-15) for a trip to the Big Dance.

 

A LOOK AT ELON

Elon won the SoCon North Division title with a 13-5 regular-season league mark. The Phoenix moved on to the semifinals with a 68-61 win over 10th-seeded UNCG in the quarterfinals. They are paced by all-conference players in Lucas Troutman and Jack Isenbarger who provide a 1-2 punch offensively for the team averaging 15.1 points and 13.6 points per game respectively. Elon went 5-3 this past season against South Division foes with losses to CofC, Wofford and Davidson.

 

COUGARS IN SOCON TOURNAMENT PLAY

The Cougars are 20-13 all-time in Southern Conference Tournament play. CofC won its only SoCon Tournament title in 1999 with a 77-57 victory over Appalachian State to make its fourth all-time appearance in the Big Dance. The Cougars are 5-4 in the semifinals and 1-4 in the finals.

 

PROJECTED COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON STARTERS

#22 Anthony Stitt, G, 6-1, 180, So. (10.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.3 apg, 32.8 min)

#4 Andrew Lawrence, G, 6-1, 185, Sr. (13.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.9 apg, 32.1 min)

#3 Anthony Thomas, F, 6-7, 207, Jr. (8.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.5 apg, 28.9 min)

#53 Willis Hall, F, 6-6, 235, RS-Jr. (7.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 0.8 apg, 24.2 min)

#1 Adjehi Baru, F, 6-9, 225, So. (9.7 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 0.7 apg, 30.8 min)

 

PROJECTED ELON STARTERS

#3 Tanner Samson, G, 6-4, 193, Fr. (6.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.8 apg, 27.8 min)

#20 Jack Isenbarger, G, 6-2, 180, Jr. (13.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.7 apg, 31.7 min)

#24 Sebastian Koch, G, 6-8, 190, Jr. (9.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.4 apg, 30.6 min)

#21 Ryley Beaumont, F, 6-7, 215, Jr. (11.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.8 apg, 31.4 min)

#31 Lucas Troutman, F, 6-10, 215, Jr. (15.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 0.7 apg, 26.3 min)

 

COUGARS ON THE AIRWAVES

Fans can listen to all CofC men’s basketball games throughout the 2012-13 postseason on ESPN Radio 910 AM in Charleston or via a live audio link at: www.charlestonsportsradio.com. Voice of the Cougars Jeff McCarragher and color analyst Everett German will call the action live from U.S. Cellular Center on the College of Charleston Radio Network.

 

INSIDE THE SERIES

College of Charleston leads 12-5 in the all-time series with Elon and have won five of the last six meetings between the two schools. The Cougars are tied 1-1 versus the Phoenix when both teams have played each other in the SoCon Tournament. CofC last prevailed with a 78-60 (+18) over Elon in the quarterfinals on March 5, 2011 in Chattanooga, Tenn. Meanwhile, the Phoenix defeated the Cougars (61-75) in the semifinals at the North Charleston Coliseum in 2008.

 

LAST EIGHT GAMES IN THE SERIES

W, 56-54 at Elon, N.C. on 12/1/12 (+2)

L, 98-99 (2OT) at Elon, N.C. on 2/2/12 (-1)

W, 63-44 at Charleston, S.C. on 1/14/12 (+19)

W, 78-60 at Chattanooga, Tenn.^ on 3/5/11 (+18)

W, 85-67 at Elon, N.C. on 2/9/11 (+18)

W, 80-77 at Charleston, S.C. on 2/11/10 (+3)

L, 53-59 at Charleston, S.C. on 1/31/09 (-6)

W, 77-69 at Elon, N.C. on 12/4/08 (+8)

^SoCon Tournament

 

HIGH SCORING = WINNING

The Cougars scored 78 points in its quarterfinal game against Western Carolina on March 9. It marked the team’s fifth-highest scoring output of the season and fourth-best against a league opponent. They are 21-1 when scoring 60-or-more points a game this season with the lone loss – a 77-68 setback at Davidson on Jan. 19.

 

COUGAR SIDEBARS

• Coach Wojcik is 1-0 lifetime versus Elon in his eight years as a Division I head coach. Prior to CofC, he led the University of Tulsa to two Conference USA Tournament championship games in 2008 and 2009 (lost both to Memphis) and two semifinals in 2010 and 2011 (lost both to UTEP). Wojcik is 10-7 all-time in league postseason tournaments games with a 9-7 record prior in C-USA.

 

• It will be high school reunion time for CofC sophomore reserve guard Trevonté Dixon and two of his former classmates and teammates at the Christ School in Arden, N.C., in Elon junior guard Sebastian Koch and junior forward Lucas Troutman, who comprise the Phoenix starting lineup. All three were coached by head coach David Gaines and led the Greenies to a North Carolina Independent School state championship title with a school-record 37 wins in 2010.

 

• CofC put together a 7-1 record against SoCon North Division foes with its one loss to Samford at home (57-62) on Jan. 10, 2013 at TD Arena.

 

WESTERN CAROLINA RECAP

CofC 78, Western Carolina 70

• For the 26th time this season, CofC used the starting lineup of sophomore Anthony Stitt, senior Andrew Lawrence, junior Anthony Thomas, redshirt junior Willis Hall and sophomore forward Adjehi Baru (21-5).

• With the win, the Cougars improve to 19-7 in the all-time series versus Western Carolina including an undefeated 3-0 record when both teams have met in the Southern Conference Tournament.

• CofC claimed its 20th all-time victory in SoCon Tournament play and is now 10-4 all-time in quarterfinal games since joining the league in 1998-99. It marked the first SoCon Tournament win for first-year head coach Doug Wojcik.

• Anthony Thomas registered a career-high 18 points against Western Carolina and also added eight points and two steals to the winning cause in his first SoCon Tournament appearance after playing his freshman season at Appalachian State. It marked his 12th double-figure scoring game of the season.

• Adjehi Baru recorded his eight double-double of the season, ninth of his career, with 14 points and a game-high 13 rebounds versus Western Carolina.

• Anthony Stitt dished out three assists in the ballgame to turn in his first career 100+ assist season (102). It marked the first time CofC had two players with 100 assists each in a single season since Andrew Goudelock (131) and Tony White, Jr. (106) did so in 2009-10.

• CofC shot 82.9 percent from the free throw line (29-of-35) which was its second-best performance from the charity stripe this season behind a 86.7 free-throw shooting percentage at Charleston Southern on Nov. 28, 2012.

• Andrew Lawrence shot a career-best 12-of-14 from the free throw line against Western Carolina and ended the night with 16 points. He currently has tabulated 1,167 career points to date which ranks 26th all-time in the CofC record books. Lawrence is five points away from breaking into the top 25.

 

COUGAR SOUND BITES

“They (Elon) are very similar to the team we saw four months ago. They have lost a lot since then. (Austin) Hamilton, who tore his ACL, was a big player for them. (Josh) Bonney played a lot against UNCG and (Jack) Isenbarger at the point (in the SoCon Quarterfinals). (Lucas) Troutman is a great player. I voted him first team all-league. I said that about him when we first played him. Ryley Beaumont plays as hard as anyone in the league. (Sebastian) Koch is playing well and putting it on the floor better than when we played them earlier in the year. They are a good team and we will have our hands full.” – CofC Head Coach Doug Wojcik on playing Elon for the second time this season and first time since December in the SoCon Semifinals

 

“Every game is the same. We take the same approach in our preparation and need to grind it out to get the win. If we play well, things will click. One thing from the Western Carolina game, we have to take care of the ball and have to rebound. We have to adjust and get in a better flow early. We just have to go out and play our game. We have to play our style of defense and run.” – Sophomore Forward Adjehi Baru on the team’s preparation for Elon having not seen them since December

 

“We feel better playing on the road than at home. We are not sure why, but we do play well and will be ‘on the road’ in a sense in these next tournament games. They (Elon) remind me a lot like Davidson and we will make sure we are prepped for them. Confidence wise, everyone played big minutes, contributed and made big shots versus Western Carolina, so our confidence is up and we are looking forward to the rematch with Elon.” – Junior Small Forward Anthony Thomas on advancing to the semifinals and playing Elon for the second time this season

Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson

About the Author:

Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson is the founder and Editor of Beach Carolina Magazine. Living along the coast of North Carolina, Mike has a passion for the beach and loves to bring news and events of the Carolinas to others around the world.

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