Cougars celebrate the night by honoring seniors Antwaine Wiggins and Ben Walsh and beating the Georgia Southern Eagles, 58-53. Now they inch closer to the next phase of the game. Tournament time.
By trapping the Eagles high on the court, the Cougars were able to hold GSU off the scoreboard and go on a 13-0 run to start the game. By the end of the night the Cougars had forced the Eagles into 20 turnovers.
“I’m proud of our guys. Hopefully, we are building momentum. We did some good things tonight. Defensively in the first half and in the first 10 minutes, I thought we were terrific,” said interim head coach Mark Byington.
The stacked lead created by CofC was later knocked down as GSU caught up, 48-47. Fortunately for the Cougars, a quick basket by Trent Wiedeman gave CofC the lead back.
The lead was tossed back to GSU but a clutch three pointer by freshman Anthony Stitt, assisted by our senior Wiggins, extinguished GSU’s lead once and for all. Wiggins expressed his great appreciation that he and the team could bring home one last home victory before graduating.
“It felt good that we won. I was getting nervous for a second. I didn’t want to lose my last game,” said Wiggins. “We had a big crowd out there too, that meant a lot to me. It also felt good to see Coach Cremins out in the stands.”
“First off, I think it’s great to win your last home game for your seniors. I was really happy for Antwaine (Wggins),” said Byington. “Usually on Senior Night, it’s important that your juniors, sophomores and freshmen play well. Trent Wiedeman played really well in the second half and got going. I thought Andrew Lawrence was terrific tonight against their pressure and against their traps.”
The top scorer of the game was Wiedeman who collected 18 points. Following him were Wiggins and Lawrence each with 10 points. Both Wiggins and Lawrence created the most assists with five and seven, respectively.
Phasing into the next part of basketball season, Byington notes how the guys are going to have to anticipate different game dynamics.
One of the things this team struggles with is scoring droughts. We have to find a way to get easier baskets, to finish better, to make shots and execute better,” says Byington. “Every game is going to be like this from here-on-out, kind of a tournament atmosphere, with lower scoring and more pressure. We will learn from it like every other game and try to get better. Give Georgia Southern credit, their pressure pushed us out a lot tonight.”
The Cougars play one more game in Charleston, at the Citadel, before they head on the road to Ashville for the long awaited SoCon Tournament. They will play the Citadel on Feb. 26 at 3pm.