There's little doubt that the College of Charleston is one of the top defensive and rebounding teams in the Colonial Athletic Association.
The statistics don't lie. The Cougars lead the CAA in scoring defense (62.6 ppg) and have the top rebounding margin (plus-6.4) in the league.
The Cougars offense, well, that's an entirely different subject altogether.
Scott Eatherton scored 22 points and pulled down 10 rebounds and Reggie Spencer added 15 points to lead Northeastern past College of Charleston, 60-44, Saturday night before a crowd of 2,515 at TD Arena.
It was the worst offensive performance of the season for the Cougars, who fell to 13-14 overall and 5-7 in the CAA. The Cougars shot a season-low 29 percent - making just 19 of 54 attempts from the floor. Canyon Barry, who scored 10 points, was the only Cougar to shoot 50 percent or better from the field against the Huskies.
After the game, College of Charleston coach Doug Wojcik had few answers to explain the Cougars' offensive woes.
"As a coaching staff we felt like the missed shots early in the game just deflated us," Wojcik said. "We put so much pressure on ourselves because we missed so many shots, particularly two-point shots. We lost a lot of confidence. We tried different combinations to see if someone could get us going and nothing worked."
The Cougars' starting five were a combined 10 of 36 from the floor - just 27 percent. Adjehi Baru had an especially tough night, missing point-blank shots around the rim and converting on only three of 10 attempts from the floor.
"It's not like Adjehi is missing his shots on purpose," Wojcik said. "He's trying. He's playing hard, he's just missing shots."
The Cougars were solid again defensively. They just had no answer for Eatherton, who recorded his NCAA-leading 17th double-double on the season. The 6-8 junior scored eight points during a crucial 11-0 run in the second half for the Huskies.
"There's a reason why he's a player of the year candidate in our league," Wojcik said. "He can go get his own shot. Eatherton was a better player than anyone we had on the floor tonight. Other than that, I've got no problems with the way we played defensively tonight. We got the job done at that end of the floor. Our struggles were definitely with our offense. We just missed a lot of shots."
As poorly as Charleston shot the ball in the first half, the Cougars found themselves down just four points, 22-18, after Baru hit two free throws with less than a second left before halftime. Baru had missed all seven free throw attempts in the Cougars' win over Drexel on Thursday night.
"I thought those free throws were crucial," Wojcik said. "I thought that was the start of something we could build on for the second half."
Charleston's Willis Hall, who finished with eight points and nine rebounds, connected on a layup to start the second half to close the gap to 22-20.
But that would be as close as the Cougars would get the rest of the night.
The Huskies answered with an 8-2 run and slowly began to build their advantage.
"It was a tough, tough loss," Wojcik said. "It was a hard game for us to watch and I'm sure it was a hard game for our fans to watch. It was one of those tough nights."
The Cougars will take on William & Mary on Wednesday night at TD Arena.
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