CHARLESTON, S.C. - Four players scored in double figures as College of Charleston fended off the upset bid by crosstown rival The Citadel, 73-69, on Monday night at McAlister Field House.
Senior point guard Andrew Lawrence (London, England) led all scorers with a game-high 21 points, while sophomore big man Adjehi Baru (Abidjan, Ivory Coast) recorded his sixth career double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds - his third-straight in the course of five days.
The Cougars (12-5, 4-1 SoCon) trailed 34-31 at halftime after a shooting barrage in the first half of play by the Bulldogs (3-12, 0-5 SoCon) who couldn't miss and shot 58.3 percent from the floor (14-of-24).
Junior Anthony Thomas (Winston-Salem, N.C.) opened the second half with a three-pointer to tie up the ballgame, 34-34. A jumper by Baru at the 17:18 minute mark shifted the momentum back the Cougars' way for the first time since leading by eight with 15:51 on the clock in the first half.
But, The Citadel wouldn't go down without a fight and built a seven-point lead on a layup by Matt Van Scyoc, 57-50, with 10:16 to go.
CofC quickly chipped away that lead on its next three possessions with a pair of three-pointers by sophomore guard Anthony Stitt (Charlotte, N.C.) including his three at the 8:09 minute mark which gave the Cougars the 58-57 advantage.
The Bulldogs would tie up the contest twice more in the next eight-minute stretch including a gutsy three-pointer by Ashton Moore, 69-69, with 45 seconds remaining in regulation. Lawrence would dribble down the court and make the jumper and calmly sank two free throws with 12 seconds left to keep the Cougars' undefeated road record intact at 6-0.
Stitt ended the night with 14 points and Thomas with 10 points. Citadel big man Mike Groselle led the Bulldogs with a near double-double performance with 19 points and nine rebounds.
CofC will continue its road travel through Southern Conference play at Georgia Southern on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. (ET) in Statesboro, Ga. The Eagles upset preseason favorite Davidson on Monday night.
For the 13th time this season, CofC went with the starting five of sophomore Anthony Stitt, senior Andrew Lawrence, junior Anthony Thomas, redshirt junior Willis Hall and sophomore forward Adjehi Baru (11-2).
With the win, the Cougars claimed their 50th win in the all-time series with crosstown rival The Citadel. Both teams will see each other again in 10 short days at TD Arena on Jan. 24.
CofC remains undefeated on the road with a perfect 6-0 mark which is the most wins among the 17 other schools in the country who remain unbeaten on the road this season. Wyoming is 5-0.
Andrew Lawrence turned in his sixth 20-point game of his career with a game-high 21 points. He has now tabulated 982 career points and is 18 points shy of his 1,000th career point.
Adjehi Baru registered his sixth career double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds versus The Citadel. It marked his third-straight game with a double-double which marks a career-best stretch.
The Cougars knocked down a season-high tying nine three-pointers against the Bulldogs. They also had nine threes in road wins at No. 21-ranked Baylor on Nov. 24 and at Charleston Southern on Nov. 28.
CofC took care of the basketball and had only 10 turnovers in the ballgame - just three in the second half of play. It was the team's second-fewest miscues this season behind eight at Vermont on Dec. 29.
It was the first-ever meeting between two best friends in CofC Head Coach Doug Wojcik and Citadel Head Coach Chuck Driesell. Both have known each other since the early 90's when both coached abd were roommates at the Naval Academy Prep School in Newport, R.I.
College of Charleston Head Coach Doug Wojcik
On the game
"The Citadel played great tonight. Our defense is pretty good and they shot 53 percent against us. Their kids played hard and we couldn't shake them. I thought we started the game really well, especially in an important game for them in a big-time environment. We couldn't build a lead at all or get any stops in the first half. But, we found a way. Everyone contributed tonight. It was a great way to start things off with three games on the road this week. Give them a lot of credit. It's a good rivalry. Once we made the move to the CAA, Chuck (Driesell) and I quickly addressed continuing the rivalry series. It's a good thing for our city and both programs."
College of Charleston Senior Point Guard Andrew Lawrence
On the road win in a tough environment ...
"It feels really good to get the W. They (The Citadel) played a heck of a game. They made a lot of shots tonight. I was really proud of the way they played. They really competed and were physical with us which got us at times. They received great support from their Cadets today and made it a tough environment for us to play in. Fortunately, we were able to get the win."
College of Charleston Sophomore Forward Adjehi Baru
On the physicality of the game ...
"It was really physical. They got a lot of shots inside. We have to keep working on our post defense."