Auburn beats College of Charleston, 55-51, in Charleston Classic
Auburn guard Frankie Sullivan missed the final 15 minutes of Thursday night’s game with Murray State after cutting his arm and receiving more than 20 stitches.
Sullivan showed no ill effects from the injury Friday night against the College of Charleston.
Sullivan scored 24 points, including 20 in the second half, to lead the Tigers past the College of Charleston, 55-51, on the second day of action in Charleston Classic at TD Arena.
The Cougars will face Boston College at noon on Sunday. Auburn will face Dayton at 2:30 p.m. Sunday
Sullivan connected on 9 of 18 shots from the field, including 2 of 5 from 3-point range.
“He was great,” College of Charleston coach Doug Wojcik said. “He’s a senior, he’s taken his lickings over the years, but he stepped up for them in the second half when they needed it.”
The Cougars were forced to play without shooting guard Andrew Lawrence, who missed the game with a stomach virus.
“The fact that we don’t have our one senior with experience really affected our team,” Wojcik said. “When Andrew doesn’t play, I have just one primary ball handler and that’s Anthony Stitt. God bless Anthony and his effort, but he had to play a lot of minutes for us.”
Besides the absence of Lawrence, the story of the game for the College of Charleston was much the same as it was in the Cougars’ loss to St. John’s on Thursday — turnovers and poor free throw shooting.
“Turnovers became an issue for us as well as free throw shooting,” said Wojcik after his Cougars turned the ball over 19 times and made just 10 of 18 free throwns Friday.
Without Lawrence in the lineup, the Cougars spent most of the game searching for someone to make a shot.
Matt Sundberg did his part, coming off the bench to chip in eight points, but Stitt was the only Cougar to score in double figures with 11 points.
“It was pretty tough without Andrew,” Sundberg said. “We all had to step it up big time, but missing him was a big key for us this game. I think we did pretty wellas a team, but couldn’t finish at the end.”
The Cougars defense continued to play well, limiting the Tigers to just 26 percent shooting in the first half.
The College of Charleston led, 23-22, at hafltime.
“Our defense and rebounding have been excellent so far,” Wojcik said.
Sullivan took over in the second half, scoring the Tigers first 14 points. Sullivan’s 3-pointer with 11:47 left gave Auburn a 36-31 lead.
The Cougars cut the gap to 40-39 on Anthony Stitt’s 3-pointer with 9:27 left.
But the Tigers answered with 6-0 run of their own highlighted by a Sullivan dunk to push the lead back to 46-39 with 6:55 left in regulation.
An Anthony Thomas 3-pointer and Adjehi Baru free throw got the Cougars back to within 46-43 with 5:28 to play.
The Cougars could get no closer than three points the rest of the way as the Tigers connected on 5 of 6 free throws in the final minute.
Auburn’s Shareif Adamu added 11 points and Noel Johnson, who played earlier in his career at Clemson, had 12 points.
Tigers to compete in 2013 Charleston Classic
Clemson will play in the 2013 Charlston Classic next November at the College of Charleston’s TD Arena, the program announced Friday.
UAB, Georgia, Nebraska, New Mexico and Temple also will compete in the tournament. The dates of the tournament, as well as final two teams, will be announced at a later date.
Clemson won the inaugural Charleston Classic in 2008.