A little more than four days after the College of Charleston men’s basketball team knocked off pre-season CAA favorite Towson (76-74) on the Tigers home court, CofC took their brand new 23rd national ranking to Greensboro NC, to take on
North Carolina A&T Wednesday evening. Sporting a 13 game winning streak and an overall 14-1 record the Cougars were clearly the favorite over the 6-9 Aggies, despite NC A&T coming off a road win (81-79) over Hofstra on Saturday.
No doubt Charleston were riding a high heading to Greensboro. It’s been 20 years since CofC had been ranked inside the AP Top 25. Their 2022-23 play including imposing victories over several teams coming off March Madness action, combined with their lone loss this season to previously top ranked UNC has clearly impressed AP voters.
Regardless of being the host team, the CAA’s newest member did not rise to the occasion as the Cougars went up by as much as 30 points in the second half, before a late rally found the Aggies on the losing end at 92-79 . All of Charleston’s 10 man rotation scored with five finishing with double figures.
Dalton Bolon lead the Cougars knocking down 10 of 16 from the floor for 22 points, while hauling in the team best 10 rebounds. Bolon matched his career best in a Cougar uniform and notched his first double double.
Ante Brzovic and Pat Robinson III chipped in 12 apiece, with Raekwon Horton and Ben Burnham adding 11 each for the Cougars. Charleston improve to 15-1 and 3-0 in the CAA, all the while keeping the nations longest winning streak alive at 14 games. Trailing 12-11 Horton nailed a 3-pointer and the Cougars never looked back, enjoying a 20 point lead at the break.
After a cold first few minutes Horton’s first trey knotted the contest at 5 all. The contest would be tied two more times before Horton’s second triple put CofC up for good. A 12-2 run extended Charleston’s lead, with eight unanswered by NC A&T making it a one possession contest.
When Ben Burnham drove the lane for a big time dunk the Cougars held a 27-23 lead with just over seven minutes remaining. The Aggies’ Marcus Watson followed with a breakaway dunk on the other end before Charleston closed out the first period on a 24-6 run to enjoy a 51-31 advantage at intermission.
Both teams would trade baskets in the second half. When Reyne Smith drained a missile CofC went up 68-43 with 13 minutes remaining. Two minutes later when Horton hit from long range the Cougars enjoyed their biggest lead (75-45) of the night. However, NC A&T would win the final two four minute battles as they closed out the game besting the Cougars by 17 points including a couple big threes, as they cut the margin to 13 before the final buzzer.
Kam Woods who is one of the hottest players in the CAA lead the Aggies with a game high and season best 30 points including 6 of 12 from beyond the arc. Duncan Powell added three from long range for 20 points, with Watson chipping in 12 points to go along with game best 12 rebounds. NC A&T fall to 6-10 overall and 1-2 in the league.
Where it mattered most was on the glass. Charleston outrebounded NC A&T 46-37 including 13 offensive boards, leading to 19 second chance points. The Cougars will return to TD Arena to host Delaware on Saturday. Action is set for 5:00 p.m. The game will be the second consecutive contest for the Cougars to be broadcast live CBS Sports Network.