The Cougars helped break the Furman Paladins’ nine game losing streak after they lost 63-69 Thursday evening in TD Arena. The loss to the Paladins puts them at three in a row, the first time since the 2007-08 season.
The first half started relatively slow, with both teams scoring back-to-back and refusing to allow a lead of more than two points. However, the game took a turn for the worse when the Paladins took a seven-point lead with less than four minutes remaining in the first half and never looked back.
“I’m just disappointed in the first half,” said head coach Bobby Cremins. “We were a frustrated team and that’s my responsibility. I really feel like I did not have this team ready to play in the first half and that’s very disappointing to me.”
Though both teams suffered from low shooting percentages, the Paladins were still able to outshoot the Cougars. CofC shot only 17.4 percent above the arc and 35 percent from the floor.
Furman continued to strengthen their lead to 14 points hardly two minutes into the second half. With two back-to-back three pointers by the Paladins, it sparked the Cougars to forge ahead.
“Now in the second half we were a different team. We played with energy and we made some adjustments but I’m disappointed in myself because we tried some things during the week and it looked like they were working and I didn’t stay with them. I think I should have stayed with some of the things we were doing throughout the week, I think it could have helped us but I decided to stay with what we had because we had some success with it. But I was wrong.”
Junior Andrew Lawrence (London, England) and senior Antwaine Wiggins had 15 and 12 points respectively, while sophomore Trent Wiedeman was the only player with a double-double for the night at 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Sophomore Nori Johnson and redshirt junior Matt Sundberg each had 7 points, while two freshmen, Trevonte Dixon and Baru Adjehi (Abidjan, Ivory Coast), followed closely behind with 6 points each. Baru, who had previously sat out in the game against Georgia Southern on January 21st due to a sprained ankle, contributed six rebounds as well during his 27 minutes of play.
“We are disappointed,” said Antwaine Wiggins. “But we just have to keep working. We have to go into practice and work harder and try to fix things. We have been struggling to hit shots. It’s going to fall sooner or later. We have to figure out another way to hit shots other than depending on the three. We are a little frustrated right now. We still know we are a young team and need to keep working. The sky’s the limit for this team. We lost a few games and it’s not the end of the world. We are just focusing on getting better.”
The Cougars, who are now 12-8, are tied for fourth with the Paladins in the South Division standings.
“I take full responsibility (for the loss),” said Cremins. “One thing I can guarantee, we are going to show up on Saturday and try to do the best we can.”
The Cougars will match up against fellow rivals the Wofford Terriers on Saturday, January 28th at 3 pm at TD Arena.