College of Charleston (24-9) vs. Davidson (25-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, March 11, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: U.S. Cellular Center (7,654) -- Asheville, North Carolina. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: Charleston 11-6, Davidson 12-1. Away Record: Charleston 11-3, Davidson 9-4. Neutral Record: Charleston 2-0, Davidson 4-2. Conference Record: Charleston 14-4, Davidson 17-1. Series Record: Davidson leads, 52-13.
GAME NOTES: The top-seeded Davidson Wildcats look to defend their Southern Conference Tournament crown as they take on the College of Charleston Cougars with an automatic bid into the 2013 NCAA Tournament awaiting the winner.
Coach Doug Wojcik's first year at the helm of the Cougars' program has already been a success, as he has led it to 24 wins that includes decisions over Boston College, Baylor and Vermont. He has a chance to become an instant hero in the Charleston community on Monday, as it has been 14 years since the Cougars last went dancing. Charleston upset the second-seeded Elon Phoenix, 68-60, on Sunday to advance to the title game.
Davidson needed to stage a second half comeback on Sunday against Appalachian State, but did so successfully to defeat the Mountaineers, 65-62. It was the 451st career win for coach Bob McKillop and the 16th straight for the team. The Wildcats' winning streak is the longest active streak in the nation.
During the regular season, Davidson defeated the Cougars, 77-68 on Jan 19, at home and 75-59 on Feb. 14, in Charleston. The Wildcats own a sizeable, 52-13 all-time series edge.
Andrew Lawrence scored 19 points and Willis Hall registered a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds for CofC against Elon. The Cougars held Elon to just eight field goals on 29.6 percent shooting in the first half to build an early lead before shooting 52 percent from the floor themselves after the break to seal the deal. Charleston outscored Elon both from the 3-point arc (21-9) and the free-throw line 19-15).
Charleston is just a middle of the road team offensively with an average of 65.6 ppg, however it is very adept on the other end of the floor where it allows only 61.3 ppg. Lawrence, who played with and against some of the world's top players prior to this season as a member of Great Britain's senior national team in the most recent Summer Olympics, paces the squad with 13.3 points, 3.7 assists and 1.4 steals per tilt. Anthony Stitt is a solid second option at 10.8 ppg while Adjehi Baru provides 9.6 points and 8.5 rebounds per outing.
Davidson is outscoring opponents by 18.4 points per game during its current winning streak, while holding its opposition to 39.7 percent shooting from the floor. Forward Jake Cohen was named SoCon Player of the Year last week after posting 14.9 points and 6.1 rebounds per game this season. His outside shooting ability, combined with the slashing of De'Mon Brooks (13.5 ppg, 6.1 rpg) helped make Davidson the highest scoring team in the conference this season at 73.7 ppg. Cohen and Brooks combined for 33 points in Sunday's victory over ASU.
It is very unlikely Davidson will come out flat on back-to-back nights. Charleston is playing with a lot of confidence though, which means this one could add onto the already deep list of thrilling conference title games this season. Davidson has an edge in talent, which makes it the Wildcats' game to lose.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Davidson 71, College of Charleston 66
03/11 10:32:05 ET