A loss on the books but you can hardly consider this a loss in terms of the greater picture. With an opportunity to travel to the Bahamas in the Battle 4 Atlantis the College of Charleston played University of Central Florida, ending in a 74-63 loss for the Cougars.
Going into the tournament head coach Bobby Cremins told CofC Sports the main purpose of taking such extraordinary trips to the beautiful islands of the Bahamas.
“What we try to do is learn about our team. I can remember, in Hawaii I believe, we learned so much about our team: we came back, we made some changes and we had that great win over North Carolina.”
Andrew Lawrence had great presence for the team with solid leadership which was evident while continually passing the ball to the open player and persistently looking for those scoring opportunities. In addition to that Lawrence had 14 points during the game.
The once Atlantic Sun Conference rivals truly showed comparative depth throughout the game as each team would inch past each other only slightly before the other would catch back up. Throughout the game there were 15 lead changes and nine ties during the game.
Charleston ran into some foul trouble as Adjehi Baru, Anthony Stitt and Andrew Lawrence each accumulated four fouls. This game pushed the Cougars to a season high of 21 fouls.
A moment of surprise at the end of the game was seeing rebounds relatively low for the Cougars with only 25 for the game. However a place of struggle during the past few games turned into a strength for the Cougars as they averaged 13-of-18 at the free throw line.
Trent Wiedeman again had a remarkable showing for the Cougars leading the team with 19 points, notable having a near flawless 5-of-6 from the free throw line.
“It was a tough game and we hung in there. We got into a lot of foul trouble early on. We played a lot of zone, because of our foul trouble. In the second half, I thought there was an opportunity for us. The door was open,” said Cremins, “We went up seven and then they hit a three. During that stretch right there, I thought we really had a chance. They are a very physical basketball team. Their big guys can shoot.”
Bringing this game full circle and restating the learning experience the guys will continue to have, Cremins told CofC Sports, “We learned a lot about ourselves. Antwaine Wiggins has been playing so well for us and he had a tough game and is one of our key players. I hated to see him struggle like that. I thought for a while, we played well, but you have to give Central Florida a lot of credit. They took control of the game, especially on the boards.”
The Cougars continue their time in the Bahamas playing the loser of either defending national champion Connecticut or UNC Asheville tomorrow at 7 p.m. (ET). The game can be seen on HDNet.