Senior Night for Cougars’ Sundberg, Lawrence and Benton
One of the most enduring memories of Matt Sundberg’s five seasons at the College of Charleston doesn’t involve basketball.
Wofford at College of CharlestonWHEN: 7:30 p.m.WHERE: TD ArenaTV: WMMPRADIO: WTMZ 910-AMRECORDS: College of Charleston 20-9, 12-4 in SoCon; Wofford (12-17, 6-10).NOTES: This is the 131st meeting between Wofford and the College of Charleston. The series dates back to the 1908-09 season. … The Cougars have played the Terriers more than any other team in the program’s history (Division II Newberry is second with 108 games, The Citadel is third with 90 games). … Wofford Leads the overall series, 76-54, and has won three of the last four meetings. … The Cougars trounced the Terriers, 79-50, on Jan. 26, in Spartanburg. … The Terriers feature one of the best names in college basketball in sophomore guard Indiana Faithfull, who is averaging 4.1 points and 3.2 rebounds a game. … The Cougars will honor seniors Bart Benton (Monroe, Ga.), Matt Sundberg (Kennesaw, Ga.) and Andrew Lawrence (London, England) prior to tipoff tonight.
A year ago, Sundberg, a reserve senior forward for the Cougars, starting point guard Andrew Lawrence and walk-on Bart Benton went to the local Krispy Kreme donut shop. Somewhere between discussions of girls, basketball and classes, the three decided to have a donut eating contest.
Armed with a dozen donuts each and a gallon of milk, the three wanted to see who could eat the fastest. The goal was to eat a dozen donuts in under five minutes. Sundberg couldn’t remember if they each broke the five-minute mark or not. The only thing he recalls vividly was all three throwing up almost immediately afterward.
So, what would possess the three future college graduates to do something like that?
“I have no idea,” Sundberg said with a chuckle. “I guess that’s what you do with your friends in college.”
Sundberg, a fifth-year senior, Lawrence and Benton will be honored before tonight’s game between the Cougars and Wofford at TD Arena.
“It’s crazy how quick the five years has gone,” Sundberg said. “I loved every moment with coach (Bobby) Cremins and coach (Doug) Wojcik. I’m going to miss the city and the fans. I’m sure it’s going to be emotional (tonight), but I think it’s going to be exciting, too.”
There were a lot of ups and downs for Sundberg over the years. He can still remember the elation he felt after beating South Carolina, 82-80, in overtime during his freshman season in 2008.
“It was an amazing scene, a packed house, and the reaction of everyone on campus that night and the next day was great,” Sundberg said. “I’ll always remember that game.”
Unquestionable, the most unforgettable night for all three was the Cougars’ 82-79 overtime victory over then-No. 9 North Carolina in 2010. Lawrence was just a freshman that season and did not score in 11 minutes, but got to watch Andrew Goudelock pour in 24 points and put on a performance of a lifetime.
“The North Carolina win was huge,” Lawrence said. “Watching Andrew just take over the game was unbelievable to watch. I think that’s a game that will stay with me the rest of my life.”
This won’t be Lawrence’s last basketball game. Lawrence plans on playing professionally after this season.
“With his skill set, Andrew will have a long career, either here or over in Europe,” Wojcik said.
Benton’s role on the team as a walk-on hasn’t been glamorous, but he wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. Benton, who plans on going to law school next year, said he has taken pride in his role of getting the Cougars ready for their next opponent.
“I know I play a part in it and coach Cremins and coach Wojcik have done a great job of making me feel included in the process,” Benton said.
Wojcik expects all three players to be emotional tonight. Despite all the pageantry of the moment, Wojcik said the Cougars can’t lose sight of their ultimate goal.
“After all the pre-game stuff is over, they still have to play and they can’t forget about that,” he said.