Cougars Reach Finals of SoCon Tournament

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Beating a team three times in a season is no small feat, but the College of Charleston men’s basketball team pulled off the trifecta with a 63-58 come-from-behind victory over Furman in the semifinals of the 2011 Southern Conference Tournament held Sunday night at McKenzie Arena.

Senior All-America candidate Andrew Goudelock  scored a tournament career-high 31 points to lead the Cougars (24-9) to their fifth all-time appearance in the finals and third overall under fifth-year head coach Bobby Cremins.

The Paladins (22-10) held the Cougars without a field goal for almost eight minutes in one stretch in the first half and limited Goudelock to 4-of-13 shooting to take a 29-25 lead at halftime.

Furman built an 11-point advantage in the second half, but the College of Charleston responded with an 18-3 run to take a 55-51 lead on a Goudelock tip-in with 5:57 remaining in regulation. The Paladins would go more than seven minutes with only three free throws and got within in three, 59-56, on two free throws by Darryl Evans, but could not get closer in the final minute.

Freshman Trent Wiedeman turned in his second consecutive double-double performance in SoCon Tournament play with 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, while junior Antwaine Wiggins  added 10.

The Cougars shot a season-low 33.3 percent (18-of-54) from the floor which marked the first time on four occasions this season to win the game when shooting in the 30s.

College of Charleston will face defending champion Wofford (20-12) in tomorrow’s championship game to be televised nationally on ESPN2 at 9 p.m.  Both teams tied each other for the South Division regular-season title with 14-4 records, but the Cougars won the top divisional seed by virtue of sweeping the Terriers in the home-and-home series this season. Wofford advanced with an 86-72 win over No. 1 North Division seed Western Carolina in the first semifinal game of the night.