The men’s basketball team posted a huge 87-85 win against Chattanooga Saturday night. The Cougars, who are ranked No. 80 nationally, are now riding a four-game winning streak that includes two Southern Conference games.
The first half started slow with both teams barely breaking 20 points by halftime. CofC had to quickly adapt and adjust to the double-teaming on the low posts by the Chattanooga Mocs. “We did not handle it very well,” said head coach Bobby Cremins. “We must have had five or six turnovers. I was shocked how bad we looked early on when they chopped our post. I was shocked.”
The Cougars made four of 21 shots taken outside the arc, and shot only 23.3 percent from the field during the first half. “We couldn’t hit the side of a barn. We have to do something about that. We have to move the ball better. I love the three ball. But, it was getting a little ugly out there.”
“The first half we had a lot of open shots that we missed,” said sophomore Trent Wiedeman. “We usually knock those down but we just weren’t making them. They weren’t bad shots. They were just, you know, what we had to do.”
Junior Andrew Lawrence (London, England) scored 25 points, setting a career-high that included five three pointers, four steals, and five assists. His layup at the buzzer sent the Cougars into the first overtime period. Unfortunately, Lawrence had to sit out the rest of the second overtime period due to leg cramps.
The Mocs amped up the competition during the first overtime period and kept the Cougars fighting till the end. As CofC trailed by four, freshman Anthony Stitt hit a jump shot bringing the difference to two. Redshirt-junior Matt Sundberg was then able to tie the game after shooting two for two from the line, leading the teams into double overtime.
Stitt was the second highest CofC scorer for the night with an impressive 20 points and two assists. “What about Anthony Stitt,” said Cremins. “Holy smokes!”
As the second overtime began, Wiedeman made his presence known on the court as soon as the buzzer went off. Scoring six points in the second overtime alone, he brought his total to 15 points for the night and an astounding 12 rebounds.
As soon as the Cougars took the lead, they were able to hold onto it for the rest of the game. A three pointer from sophomore Jordan Scott gave both the crowd and the Cougars the energy and momentum to finish strong.
“I’m not sure how we got throug
h the overtime. It was an incredible ending. I was so proud of Jordan Scott making that shot. Trent Wiedeman made some big baskets and we made some big plays.”
With the help of foul shots made from Stitt and senior Antwaine Wiggins, CofC pulled through with the win. Though recording a double-double on the books with 12 rebounds and 14 points, Wiggins experienced an off night and was only two for 10 in his attempted three point shots.
“Antwaine Wiggins. What can grey hair turn into?” pondered Coach Cremins during the post game interview. “He is really something…I’m really going to have to write a book about him.”
Saturday’s game against Chattanooga marked the first double overtime game for the Cougars since 2008.
“They came to play and are a senior-based team. (Chattanooga Head Coach) John (Shulman) does a great job. They outplayed us and outcoached us…But what a basketball game. An absolute great, great, very, very entertaining basketball game. We are very fortunate to win.”
CofC will return to normal play when they face Tennessee on Wednesday, December 14th at 9 pm at TD Arena.