Samford (3-12) at College of Charleston (10-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 10, 7:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: TD Arena (5,100) -- Charleston, South Carolina. Television: MyTV, ESPN3.com. Home Record: Samford 2-4, CofC 5-4. Away Record: Samford 1-6, CofC 5-0. Neutral Record: Samford 0-2, CofC 0-0. Conference Record: Samford 1-1, CofC 2-0. Series Record: College of Charleston leads, 12-0.
GAME NOTES: The Samford Bulldogs will try once again to take down the College of Charleston Cougars as the two square off in a Southern Conference bout at TD Arena.
The Bulldogs have tried 12 times already, but they have yet to defeat Charleston. The Cougars have been dominant in the rivalry's recent history with four consecutive victories by 10 points or more.
Samford opened up its SoCon season early with a 57-48 victory over Georgia Southern. The Bulldogs then finished up their non-conference slate with just one win among four losses before they dropped a 74-70 decision to Chattanooga on Saturday. Coach Bernie Seltzer's squad will have to drastically improve on both ends of the floor if it is going to compete in the SoCon this year. Samford is ranked ninth in the conference in points allowed with 70.1 ppg, while it ranks 11th in scoring at 59.5 ppg.
The Bulldogs' offensive ability and awareness will be tested by the Cougars, who are second in the SoCon in scoring defense with an allowed average of only 61.9 ppg. Charleston has used its stifling defense to power its current five- game winning streak that was extended on Saturday with a 60-56 decision over Furman. Doug Wojcik has done a tremendous job in his first season at the helm of the program as the Cougars have the most wins of any team in the league at 10-4.
One positive that Samford walked away from its four-point loss to Chattanooga on Saturday with was the outburst by sophomore guard Raijon Kelly, who poured in a career-high 27 points and drained 6-of-8 from 3-point range. Tim Williams also played well as he netted 18 points and recorded three steals, but the Bulldogs could not overcome their 30-17 disadvantage in rebounds to avoid a two-game slide. Kelly is pacing the team with 14.9 points and 3.5 assists per contest, while the speedy 6-8 Williams uses his strength and athleticism to produce 14.7 points and 7.5 rebounds per tilt.
Kelly will have to match up with another very skilled point guard in Andrew Lawrence. Charleston's veteran leader gained valuable experience over the summer playing for the Great Britain National team in the Olympics. Lawrence has been on a tear lately with 18.7 points and four assists per game over his last three. Down low, the Cougars have the SoCon's leading rebounder in sophomore Adjehi Baru. The 6-9 Ivory Coast native is producing 9.2 points and 8.9 boards per contest, while 6-1 guard Anthony Stitt chimes in with 11.6 ppg. Stitt paced CofC in their recent victory over Furman with 14 points.
The young Bulldogs appear to be heading in the right direction, but they are still far from challenging Charleston on the road. The Cougars hold a clear edge as Samford will struggle to find consistency on the offensive end.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: College of Charleston 70, Samford 60
01/10 10:34:28 ET