College of Charleston crushes William & Mary, 87-54
It's called chain-ging.
When the College of Charleston is working on its shooting during practice and the players are finding their rhythm, the Cougars begin to chant "chain-ging" as they make shot after shot.
Well, the Cougars were doing plenty of "chain-ginging" Wednesday night against William & Mary.
Willis Hall scored 21 points and Canyon Barry added 17 as the Cougars shot 64 percent from the floor in an 87-54 rout of the Tribe before a crowd of 2,654 at TD Arena.
The Cougars' (14-14, 8-5 in CAA) offensive outburst helped to erase the memories of Saturday night's dismal shooting performance against Northeastern when Charleston shot a season-low 29 percent from the floor in a 60-44 loss.
In the second half the Cougars rarely missed, going 21 of 26 from the floor, including eight of 10 from 3-point range. They scored on eight consecutive possessions. The Cougars set season-high marks for scoring (87 points), field goal shooting (34 of 53 for 64.2 percent), three-point shooting (14 of 22 for 63.6 percent), assists (18) and made all five free throw attempts.
At one point midway through the second half with the Cougars leading by more than 20 points, William & Mary coach Tony Shaver could only throw up his hands and shake his head in disbelief at the Cougars' shooting performance.
Charleston held the Tribe to their second-lowest offensive output of the season, and two nights after knocking down a school-record 16 3-pointers were held to just two against the Cougars.
"I've been saying all year that if we ever put it all together we're going to be a tough team to beat," said College of Charleston coach Doug Wojcik. "We didn't just shoot the ball well. It was a phenomenal defensive performance. We defend, we rebound and we have a positive assist-to-turnover ratio. It was an absolutely great all-around game from the guys."
Nori Johnson, who finished with 16 points, had the unenviable task of trying to slow down William & Mary guard Marcus. Thornton, who is averaging 19.6 points a game, scored 26 points the last time the two teams faced other in January. Thornton finished with nine points on just three of 12 shooting.
"We made some really good adjustments from the first game to this game," Johnson said. "I just wanted to frustrate him a little bit. I wanted to go over all the ball screens and make sure he didn't get comfortable and get into a good rhythm."
Anthony Stitt finished with just 13 points and four assists. Wojcik was especially pleased with the Charlotte native's floor game.
"Anthony was phenomenal, maybe the best game of his career, certainly since I've been here," Wojcik said. "He pushed it when it was there, slowed it down when we needed him to. He made great decisions with the basketball."
The Cougars were forced to play without freshman point guard Joe Chealey. Chealey underwent knee surgery on Monday and will be out indefinitely. Chealey said after the game he hopes to return before the CAA tournament in March.
The Cougars used a 13-4 run early in the first half to open up a double-digit lead and take a 36-20 lead at halftime.
The second half was all Cougars as they went on a 13-5 run to grab a 51-24 advantage on David Wishon's layup with 15:05 to play.
The Cougars continued to pour it on, opening up a 30-point lead, 75-45, on Stitt's 3-pointer with 5:05 to play.
The Cougars will travel to North Carolina to face UNC Wilmington on Saturday beginning at 7 p.m.