San Diego State's Quick Start Leads To Opening-Round Loss For Cougars
FULLERTON, CA -
San Diego State got off to a quick start and handed College of Charleston a 72-52 opening-round loss of The Wooden Legacy held on Thursday night at host Cal State Fullerton's Titan Gym.
Winston Shepard, a 6-foot-8 guard, was one of four San Diego State (3-1) players to score in double figures with a game-high 15 points.
The Aztecs scored the game's first five points and built a 17-1 lead in the first seven minutes. The Cougars (2-4) missed 13 of their first 14 field-goal attempts, only getting a bucket inside from 7-foot-2 sophomore center David Wishon at the 13:22 minute mark.
Matt Shrigley had 12 points off the SDSU bench and Xavier Thames added 11 and J.J. O'Brien 10.
Junior big man Adjehi Baru (Abidjan, Ivory Coast) led the Cougars with eight points as the team shot only 33 percent from the floor and 25 percent from beyond the three-point arc against one of the nation's top defensive squads.
SDSU shot 57 percent and 53 percent behind the arc while winning the battle of the boards, 33-27.
The teams played even for the final 13 minutes of the first half and first seven minutes of the second half of play.
But, the Cougars' 12-point deficit at 48-36 on a layup by senior Anthony Thomas (Winston-Salem, N.C.) was quickly extended by a 13-0 run by the Aztecs that put the game away with 7:21 remaining.
Freshmen Joe Chealey (Orlando, Fla.) and Terrance O'Donohue (Norcross, Ga.) added seven points each in the loss to San Diego State in both teams' first-ever meeting.
The Cougars will face Arizona State in the consolation semifinal tomorrow at midnight (ET) / 9 p.m. (PT) in a game to be televised live on ESPNU.
· For the sixth consecutive game, the Cougars used the starting lineup of freshman Joe Chealey, junior Anthony Stitt, redshirt freshman Canyon Barry, senior Willis Hall and junior Adjehi Baru (2-4).
· The Cougars and Aztecs met for the first time on the hardwood in the 104-year history of CofC Basketball. San Diego State now takes a 1-0 lead in the all-time series.
· Freshman Terrance O'Donohue came off the bench and scored a career-high seven points. He went a perfect 2-for-2 from the floor, 1-for-1 from beyond the three-point arc and 2-for-2 from the free throw line in just eight minutes of play against San Diego State. He knocked down his first career three-pointer with the 2:11 remaining in regulation.
· Adjehi Baru led the team in scoring for the first time this season with eight points, while senior Anthony Thomas grabbed a team-and season-high tying five rebounds.
· The CofC defense forced San Diego State to commit its second-most turnovers of the season (12).
· San Diego State shot an opponent season-high 57.4 percent (27-of-47) from the floor including eight three-pointers, while the Cougars shot 33.3 percent from the field (18-of-54) – their second-lowest percentage of the season.
· CofC was held to 21 first-half points which were tied as the fewest of the season behind 21 first-half points versus UNC Asheville on Nov. 15.
College of Charleston Head Coach Doug Wojcik
On the game …
"The start of the game is what really kind of dug us into a hole. Give them (San Diego State) credit for running it right at us. Our transition defense wasn't what it needed to be tonight. We gave them a comfort zone. Traditionally, they are not a good shooting team. They ended up shooting 57 percent from the field and 53 percent from the three-point line. I thought Xavier Thames was terrific tonight and (Matt) Shrigley is their best shooter and is very valuable to them. He sort of broke it open with his shooting."
College of Charleston Freshman Point Guard Joe Chealey
On San Diego State in comparison to Louisville …
"That's probably the longest and most athletic team we have played this year. They (San Diego State) came out and punched us in the mouth. It was kind of hard to get back in the game when you dig yourself into a hole like that. They are kind of similar. Louisville is a long and athletic team, but at the guard spot, (Winston) Shepard is 6-foot-8, and at the guard spots, they were pretty long tonight."
On the team's shooting woes …
"We missed a lot of open shots. We get those looks a lot of times and we make them by keeping on shooting. It's one of those nights where it just wasn't falling for us. But, that's not where the problem was. We didn't do a good job in our transition defense and stopping them from getting easy buckets. That's where the problem was tonight."