The College of Charleston men’s basketball team opened the season with a win against NCAA Division II Queens University of Charlotte 89-65, in the first exhibition game of the season. The Cougars kept their lead during the entire game, and gained further advantage during the second half, improving to a double-digit lead.
The five starting players of the game, Adjehi Baru (Abidjan, Ivory Coast), Andrew Lawrence (London, England), Jordan Scott (Darlington, S.C.), Trent Weideman (Suwanee, Ga.), and Antwaine Wiggins (Greeneville, Tenn.) all saw double digit figures with Scott scoring a career high of 23 points.
Lawrence, who stepped up as junior point guard, proved his strength as both an inside and outside shooter with 18 points, four of the shots outside the arc. Combined with his solid ball handling, play set-ups and directing his teammates, Lawrence showed a smooth, cohesive rhythm that will only be enhanced over time.
Weideman started the game off strong and re-established himself as a valuable play-maker on the court, taking advantage of every ball he got his hands on. With 10 total points and six rebounds, Weideman’s confidence and ability has shown great improvement since his freshman year.
“It was a chance for us to learn a lot about ourselves and grow as a team,” said head coach Bobby Cremins. “I thought Queens played well. We got off to a great start. Andrew Lawrence and Jordan Scott were hot. Andrew made three threes in the first half. I thought it was a great learning experience for us.”
The Cougars man on man defense forced Queens to commit 28 turnovers while CofC suffered a total of 14 turnovers. Baru made his Charleston debut with a slow start at the beginning of the game but warmed up to finish strong with 10 rebounds and 13 points overall.
“Adjehi’s got to shoot a little bit closer to the basket, sometimes he has the tendency to fade away, and we’re going to work on that. We got to get the ball inside to Trent and Adjehi.”
Wiggins had a respectable 19 points as well, securing his position as a top scorer of the game behind Scott.
“We have about 20 percent of our offense in. We have to execute better. I haven’t put a lot of things in that I need to get in. I’m looking forward to this coming week of practice. We learn by playing games like this one. Normally, we only play one exhibition game and we have two this year and then things get real for us.”
The Cougars will finish exhibition play against NCAA Division II Limestone College at TD Arena on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 6 p.m.