Andrew Goudelock, the country's No. 2 scorer and the College of Charleston's career scoring leader, had a poor shooting performance Saturday, but he found a way to get his teammates involved.
The Cougars put together a strong second half, both offensively and defensively, to beat UNC Greensboro, 87-69, before a crowd of 4,048 at Carolina First Arena.
Goudelock scored 12 points, his second-lowest point total of the season, as he hit only 4 of 15 field-goal attempts and was 2 of 9 from the 3-point line. But the senior guard had eight assists, all in the second half, and five rebounds as all five Charleston starters scored in double figures. It was the second time this season the Cougars (19-7, 12-2 in Southern Conference) have put five players in double figures.
Freshman Trent Wiedeman had 18 points and nine rebounds, and sophomore Willis Hall also scored 18 points to lead the way. Junior Antwaine Wiggins had his second career double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, and senior Donavan Monroe scored 13 points.
"They didn't do anything special. I just missed shots," Goudelock said. "Every game you can't score a bunch of points. It's going to happen. When it happens, the best thing to do is get everybody else involved. I saw a lot of gaps so I could pass the ball. Whenever they were doubling, I knew I could get a lot of open shots for other guys. It wasn't so much them doing anything special as it was me missing shots."
The Spartans had won five of their last eight going into Saturday's contest, and two of those losses had come in overtime. So the Cougars were not expecting a blowout win.
The first half was very much a back-and-forth battle with Charleston leading by as many as six points and Greensboro by as many as five. The teams were tied as the first-half clock wound down, but Goudelock threw up an off-balance 3-point prayer that was answered for a 43-40 Charleston lead at the break.
A 28-8 second-half surge allowed Charleston to build a 77-54 lead with eight minutes left and the Cougars were able to coast. Charleston's biggest lead was 75-52 when Hall hit a 3-pointer with six minutes left.
"What a great second half," said Cougars coach Bobby Cremins, whose team has had big second halves in three of its last four wins. "They had the momentum in the first half. I thought we were flat. They came in ready to play. But Donavan made a couple of great plays and scored five points to tie the game. Then we got a big break right before the half (with Goudelock's 3-pointer).
"The second half we played some great defense. Then Antwaine Wiggins got in the act. Drew was making great passes. We had some great interior passing. It was fun to watch.
"It's another great conference victory at home. I'm proud of our team. They played really well the second half. Now we've got to get ready for (The Citadel), our crosstown rival on Thursday."
Greensboro's Brandon Evans had 14 points at halftime but was shut out the final 20 minutes. Freshman Trevis Simpson led the Spartans (5-19, 5-9) with 17 points, 11 in the second half.
Cremins said the Cougars, who are close to clinching a first-round bye in the Southern Conference tournament and hold the overall lead in the league which guarantees a spot in the NIT no matter the SoCon tournament outcome, have a sense of urgency, especially after senior forward Jeremy Simmons was sidelined because of a blood clot in his right shoulder. Simmons, out indefinitely, was on the bench Saturday.
"They don't want to ruin a good season," said Cremins, whose team has four SoCon games remaining. "They know if they can fill their role and do a good job, with Goudelock, anything is possible. We wanted him to make a few more shots, but with everybody else making them, that was fine. We're not a one-man team. We can't afford to be. We're playing well. It's great to see."
--The College of Charleston held a special halftime ceremony with the jerseys of three former Cougars standouts -- Rodney Conner (1994-97), Stacy Harris (1994-97) and Jermel President -- hung from the ceiling of Carolina First Arena.
--An alumni game featuring a number of former Cougars standouts, including Marion Busby, Thaddeous Delaney and Jody Lumpkin, was held earlier Saturday. Anthony Johnson, who played from 1992-97 and spent 13 years in the NBA, served as an assistant coach. No final score was reported on the game, which was halted early because a smoke alarm went off in one of the concession stands, forcing the evacuation of Carolina First Arena.