By: CofC Sports Media
Charleston Men’s Basketball captured the Rising Coaching Classic title on Saturday, downing Loyola, 79-72, to cap a perfect 3-0 season-opening weekend. Junior Brender Tucker earned Rising Coaching Classic MVP with another stellar performance, erupting for a team-high 20 points on 6-of-12 shooting. Tucker is averaging 16.7 PPG on 71.4 percent shooting from 3-point range through three contests.
Senior John Meeks poured in 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists in an all-around dominant outing. Meeks’ effort on the glass helped CofC dominate in the rebounding column for the third consecutive night as the Cougars outpaced Loyola, 50-32, and snagged 18 offensive boards. Dimitrius Underwood led CofC in rebounding from the point guard position, hauling in 12 on the night.
Charleston’s deep bench helped the Cougars outlast Loyola in the second half. Kelsey’s squad racked up 43 bench points with Tucker, Dalton Bolon and Ben Burnham combining for 38 off the pine. Burnham reached double figures for the first time in his career with 11 points.
CofC got out to a hot start once again, jumping ahead 15-0 out of the gate behind a barrage of 3-pointers. The Cougars led for 38:38 and never trailed. Loyola steadily cut into the lead and got within five at half. Both teams traded buckets throughout the second half, but Loyola never clawed within one possession as CofC made enough clutch buckets and converted at the foul line to seal the win.
CofC begins the season 3-0 for the first time since 2018-19. The Cougars welcome North Carolina to TD Arena in front of a sellout crowd on Tuesday night. Tip-off is set for 8:30 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network.
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