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CofC Roll Over North Greenville 96-67



Five Players in Double Figures, 9 Game Win Streak Intact
By: Jeff Walker, Sports Writer
The College of Charleston men’s basketball team welcomed North Greenville (NG) to the Holy City on Sunday afternoon as what was billed as Kids Day at TD Arena. It was the first ever meeting between the two South Carolina teams, and was considered an exhibition game for the Crusaders, going up yet against another D1 school. For the Crusaders it was the third exhibition game this season against teams from the Palmetto State, having lost earlier this season to Furman and Wofford.
Sporting a 9-1 record heading into the match-up including an eight game winning streak, the Cougars would be the toughest contest the 1-7 Crusaders faced all season long. In the end it wasn’t the ‘David vs. Goliath’ story the Crusaders were hoping for. Fresh off wins over The Citadel (79-57) and Presbyterian (67-62) over the past week CofC easily rolled over the smaller Division II school, downing North Greenville 96-67 before 4000K plus fans at TD Arena.
It was a balanced scoring attack from Coach Pat Kelsey’s solid ten men player rotation as five players finished with double figures with Dalton Bolon leading the way with a game and CofC career best 22 points including 4 of 6 from beyond the arc. Reyne Smith dropped five treys with Ben Burnham coming off the bench as each player chipped in 17 apiece. Pat Robinson III and Ante Brzovic added 12 and 10 respectively.
Bolon tripped the scoreboard first for the Cougars, connecting from long range. Another two by Bolon followed by a triple from Smith found CofC up 8-3 inside two minutes of play. The Crusaders hung with the Cougars over the next six minutes trailing by one or two possessions before Charleston hit their stride. Near the midway point the home team built a 15 point (31-15) margin.
When Smith drained his second missile CofC doubled up NG 38-19 with less than six minutes remaining in the half. Smith’s eighth point on the afternoon accomplished the same result with CofC going up 42-21 with just over three minutes left. The Cougars would head into the locker room with a comfortable 49-25 advantage at the break.
The Crusaders came out with a bit of a flurry in the second half, but the Cougars soon found their rhythm and extended their lead. When PR III made one of two from the foul line Charleston went up by 30 (65-35) with 13 minutes left on the clock. A long range bomb by PR III at the nine minute mark still found the Cougars up by 30 (75-45), as the home team were on auto pilot.
Seven minutes later Kelsey gave the back up players a couple minutes of playing time as CofC improved to 10-1 overall and kept a nine game win streak intact.
With 1:48 left in the contest Coach Kelsey emptied the bench allowing Frankie Idlett and Adam Comer each to tally a bucket.
Charleston racked up their highest point total on the season, outpacing NG 44-24 on the glass, including a season high 19 offensive rebounds. Coach Kelsey took note. “We crashed the offensive boards like we’ve been doing all season long.”
With their 10 man rotation Charleston was able to get 43 points from their bench with Burnham, PR III, and Raekwon Horton amounting for 37 of that total. Burnham grabbed a game high eight rebounds to pad his final stats. Kelsey realizes he’s fortunate to have quality players like Burnham coming off the bench. “He’s one of the best players on the team and just a really good kid.”
Coach Kelsey and company return home on Wednesday night when Stetson travels to TD Arena. The Hatters come to Charleston boasting a 5-3 record with a win over FSU back in early November. Coach Kelsey takes nothing for granted. “Stetson is a very good team. Donnie Jones is a good coach, and we have to be prepared for them.” Action is set for 7pm as the Cougars look to remain undefeated at home.

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