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CofC Get By Elon 78-60, Win Streak at 17



Six Cougars Hit 3-Pointers, Bolon Finishes With Six

By: Jeff Walker, Sports Writer

Riding the country’s longest winning streak the College of Charleston men’s basketball team welcomed fellow CAA opponent Elon to TD Arena on Saturday afternoon, in the first of two home games in two days. Despite sporting a 2-15 record overall including 0-4 in CAA play the Phoenix were hoping to put an end to the Cougars 16 game streak in the 31st meeting between the two programs.

On the other end of the spectrum with their lone loss to previously top ranked UNC, Charleston were hoping to extend their win streak to 17 and further prove to voters they are worthy of their 22nd ranked position in the current AP poll. When the final buzzer sounded at the corner of Meeting and George Streets, the Cougars emerged victorious, downing the Phoenix 78-60 before an enthusiastic sellout crowd at TD Arena.

Dalton Bolon for Charleston lead all scorers ending the game with 21 points including 6 of 11 from beyond the arc, a career high 6 triples. Bolon had help from three other teammates who finished in double figures with Ante Brzovic going 6 of 10 from the floor and 4 of 4 from the charity stripe for 17 points. Reyne Smith dropped four treys to finish with 14 points, with Ryan Larson adding three triples as part of his 12 points. Jaylon Scott brought the Cougar defense, hauling in a team best 11 rebounds including six offensive boards.

However, despite their dismal record Elon brought their A-game to the low country. Larson kicked off the contest with a big three that lead to four 3-pointers by Charleston, as the home team went up 14-12 after six minutes of play. The Phoenix found some offense, getting behind an 11-0 run that found them up 23-14 midway through the period.

Eight unanswered by the Cougars would make it a one possession game. When CofC’s Charles Lampten grabbed one of Charleston’s 13 offensive rebounds, and laid it in the contest was tied at 26 apiece. Elon would close out the first period on an 8-6 run to take a slim 34-32 advantage into the locker room.

The second half was a slow build. Charleston would trail for two and a half minutes before a missile from Larson put the home back on top 38-36 with 17:30 remaining. Two more from long range followed by a lay up from Brzovic gave the Cougars the first double digit advantage of the contest.

Elon would cut the lead to eight before a 19-4 run by the Cougars including a barrage of 3-pointers soon put the contest out of reach for the Phoenix. Ben Burnham’s lone bucket (a trey) of the night gave CofC a 65-51 margin with under seven minutes left to play. The Cougars would wrap up the contest on a 13-9 run to enjoy an 18 point win on route to their 17th straight win, improving to 18-1 overall and 6-0 in the CAA.

Max Mackinnon lead the Phoenix finishing with 17 points including a stellar 7 of 10 from the floor, while grabbing a game high 13 rebounds. Zac Ervin and Torrence Watson added 11 and 10 points respectively. With the loss Elon fall to 2-16 on the season and 0-5 in the league.

It was really a tale of two halves for both teams. After shooting 54 percent in the first half Elon returned to shoot 33 percent after the break. Charleston shot 33 percent in the first period, upping their game in the second to 43 percent. After making only 6 of 25 attempts from long range in the first 20 minutes of play the Cougars went 9 of 20 in the second half, finishing 15 of 45 overall from beyond the arc, establishing a season high. CofC would outscore Elon by 20 points in the second half.

CofC Head Coach Pat Kelsey didn’t feel the Cougars were off in the first half, rather accepting that the Phoenix rose to the challenge. “Elon brought their A game. They made shots and got off to a great start.” He added, “I don’t want to to say we were lackadaisical defensively because they were stepping up and making shots.”

According to Kelsey the difference after intermission was fundamental. “In the second half we attacked the basket.” Regarding 45 attempts from long range. “You look at the box and that’s a lot of threes, but that was what the game kind of dictated.”

In a fast and furious season CofC hope to extend the win streak to 18, as the Cougars return to action at TD Arena on Monday to host William & Mary in CAA action. Tipoff is set for 5:00 p.m.

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