With a little more than 10 minutes left in the second half and Davidson leading by five points, College of Charleston forward Trent Wiedeman pivoted to get between Wildcats forward Jake Cohen and the basket.
BY THE NUMBER32: points scored by Davidson’s Jake Cohen10: 3-points by Davidson12: offensive rebound by Charleston59.3% – shooting by Davidson in 2nd half.
Wiedeman stepped on someone’s foot in a cluster of bodies in the paint and rolled his ankle, tumbling to the floor at TD Arena.
Cohen turned toward the basket and was surprised to see no one there. He hesitated and then calmly made the uncontested layup.
The officials stopped the game as Wiedeman slammed his fist on the wooden floor in obvious pain and frustration. Wiedman limped off the floor to the Cougars bench.
The Wildcats would go on a 16-4 run over the next four minutes. Game over.
Cohen finished with a career-high 32 points and Nik Cochran added 14 to lead Davidson past the College of Charleston, 75-59, Thursday night before a crowd of 4,314.
With the victory, the Wildcats (18-7, 13-1 in SoCon) all but assured themselves of the Southern Conference’s South Division title with less than a month left in the regular season. The Cougars, who are in second place in the SoCon’s South Division, fell to 18-8 and 10-4, three games back with five conference games remaining.
Wiedeman, who has missed seven games with injuries to both ankles earlier in the season, initially thought the injury was much worse, but said he should be fine to play against Georgia Southern on Saturday. Wiedeman did return later in the half, but by then the game was out of reach.
“I just rolled it, nothing serious,” said Wiedeman, who led the Cougars with 10 points, six rebounds and two blocks. “I was just frustrated to hurt it again.”
Despite the Cougars getting outscored by 12 points after Wiedeman’s injury, College of Charleston coach Doug Wojcik didn’t feel his injury was a turning point in the game.
“I thought they were just tougher than us down the stretch,” Wojcik said. “They’re a veteran team with a lot of experience, and they were just tougher than we were tonight.”
Charleston guard Anthony Stitt felt the Cougars should have rallied around Wiedeman’s injury and used it as motivation the rest of the game.
“Trent’s a vital part of our team, everyone knows that,” said Stitt, who had nine points and a team-high three assists.
The Cougars could do little to stop Cohen.
The 6-10 senior connected on 13 of 24 shots, including three of seven from 3-point range, against the top scoring defense in the league.
“He’s a great player, a tough matchup for anyone,” Wiedeman said. “He can score in the post, he can shoot the three. He’s very skilled. With his height and his length, he’s a good shot blocker, and he can control the game at both ends of the floor.”
The Wildcats opened the game on a 10-0 run, but the Cougars answered with a 20-10 run of their own to tie the game on Willis Hall’s layup with 8:31 left before halftime.
The teams exchanged baskets as Davidson led 32-30 at halftime.
The Wildcats opened up a 47-40 advantage on Cochran’s 3-pointer with 13:57 to play.
But a Hall putback and a 3-pointer from Stitt closed the gap to 47-45 with 12:29 left.
Cohen answered with a 3-pointer from the top of the key to push the Wildcats lead to 50-45 and after a missed basket by Stitt to set up the injury to Wiedeman on Davidson’s next possession.