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CofC Down Stetson 65-60, Win 10th Straight



Ryan Larson Hits Clutch Free Throws In Final Minutes
By: Jeff Walker, Sports Writer

The College of Charleston men’s basketball team welcomed Stetson to TD Arena Wednesday night, with the Cougars hoping to avenge a 67-59 loss to the Hatters last season. Entering the contest the 10-1 Cougars were just one of 10 teams nationwide with 10 wins, placing them at No. 2 in the latest Mid Major Top 25 poll behind Gonzaga. Charleston remains one of the most talked about programs in college basketball.

Also on the line for the Cougars was their current nine game winning streak. Coming off a decisive 96-67 win over North Greenville this past Sunday, Charleston was hoping to keep the momentum alive. When the final buzzer sounded, and both teams fought hard for 40 minutes CofC came out on top, holding off a late Stetson rally for a 65-60 victory before 3600K plus fans.

Dalton Bolon lead all scorers as he finished with a team best 16 points for the Cougars including two from beyond the arc. Bolon had help from Ryan Larson who chipped in 14, including Charleston’s last eight points, going 6 of 6 from the foul line during that stretch, adding a key jumper that gave CofC a 61-53 advantage with 1:47 remaining in the game. Pat Robinson III added 12 points for CofC.

Charleston came out ablazing. Going up by eight (12-4) inside the first five minutes of play. But as fast as they started they hit a dry spell, allowing Stetson to draw within 14-8 midway through the opening period. CofC would re-energize putting together a 16-8 run for a 30-16 margin at intermission.

Down by 14 at the half, the Hatters slowly chipped away at the lead, using an 8-2 run late in the contest to cut the margin to 55-51 with 4:07 left to play. After a couple of missed attempts by Charleston, Jalen Blackmon connected for Stetson to make it a one possession game leaving home town fans on edge.

Although Stetson shot much better in the second half (62%), the Hatters missed some crucial attempts in the closing minutes allowing Charleston to hold on to a two and three possession lead. Forced to foul, the Cougars closed out the contest from the charity stripe where Charleston went 13 of 14 overall.

It wasn’t a pretty win, however the Cougars improve to 11-1 overall and extend their win streak to 10 games. Two Stetson players hit for double figures with Josh Smith and Stephan Swenson scoring 12 and 11 points respectively. The Hatter fall to 5-4 on the season.

The Cougars will travel to Conway, S.C. on Monday, December 19 to take on the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers at 7:30 p.m. at the HTC Center. The game will be streamed live on ESPN+. Fans can listen to the game on the Cougars radio partner 910 AM.

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