SPARTANBURG — The College of Charleston didn’t play a perfect game Saturday night against Wofford, but it was awfully close.
Trent Wiedeman scored a season-high 17 points and Theo Johnson added a career-high 12 points as the Cougars cruised past Wofford, 79-50, before a crowd of 2,203 at Benjamin Johnson Arena.
The Cougars (14-7, 6-3 SoCon) led by as many as 35 points in the second half and dominated from beginning to end. The Terriers (8-13, 2-6) had beaten the Cougars four of the last six times, including three straight dating back to 2011.
Certainly there was room for improvement from the Cougars, but College of Charleston coach Doug Wjocik could find little fault with the team’s overall performance.
The Cougars shot 59.2 percent (29 of 49) from the floor, including 70 percent in the second half, and connected on 11 of 21 (52.4 percent) 3-pointers. Charleston outrebounded the Terriers, 33-27, held Wofford to just 13 points in the first half and had a positive assist (17) to turnover (11) ratio.
About the only thing that Wjocik could complain about was the Cougars’ free-throw shooting, which was 58.8 percent (10 of 17), but that trivial compared to the rest of the performance.
“It was a lot of fun out there, but it’s always fun when you’re making shots,” Wjocik said. “I could be critical about our free-throw shooting and a couple of careless turnovers, but overall, my goodness, we were up 35 points in the second half, so there’s not a whole lot to complain about. It was a great effort from everyone.”
It was a breakout game for junior forward Wiedeman, who had nine rebounds. Wiedeman missed eight total games earlier this season after spraining both of his ankles in separate incidents. Wiedeman looked like the player that was a first team All-SoCon pick in the preseason.
“I felt really good tonight,” Wiedeman said. “I haven’t put up numbers like that in a while. I think I needed it for my confidence. I think I’m finally back into game shape.”
Wiedeman, who was 8 of 10 from the floor, was nearly unstoppable, especially in the first half when he scored eight straight points during a 15-3 run during the opening 10 minutes of the game.
“I’m really happy for Trent, I think he needed a game like this,” Wjocik said. “His conditioning has gotten better. He’s very difficult to defend in the post when he’s playing like that.”
As much as Wiedeman needed a performance like that to boost his confidence, Johnson might have needed it more.
Johnson, a junior, missed his first shot and then made his next four, including three 3-pointers.
“I was feeling it tonight,” said Johnson, a junior. “Trent got it going in the first half and I think everyone just fed off of his energy. Even after I missed my first shot, coach (Wojcik) said he’d keep coming back to me, and that gave me a lot of confidence to take the next shot.”
The Cougars used a 17-4 run to start the game, opened up a 20-point lead late in the first half and never looked back.
The Cougars, who led 34-13 at halftime, opened a 30-point lead three minutes into the second half as 11 of the 15 players who got into the game scored at least a basket.
“It’s nice when you can relax a little bit in the second half and play everyone,” Wjocik said.
The Cougars will host Appalachian State Wednesday at 7 p.m. at TD Arena.
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