CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP)College of Charleston’s streak goes on.
It wasn’t always pretty for the 22nd-ranked Cougars, but it was a 78-60 victory over Elon – their 17th straight – in extending the nation’s longest run.
You won’t hear Charleston coach Pat Kelsey complaining.
”I give a lot of credit to Elon,” Kelsey said. ”They brought their A game. I thought they executed very well. They made shots and got off to a great shot. I don’t want to say we were lackadaisical defensively because they were stepping up and making shots.”
Dalton Bolon scored 21 points and Ante Brzovic added 17 to lead four players in double figures for the Cougars (18-1, 6-0 Colonial Athletic Association).
After an emotional 71-69 road victory over UNC Wilmington on Wednesday night that ended the nation’s second-longest win streak at the time, a hangover was probably expected for the Cougars.
Despite not having defeated a Division I team all season, the Phoenix (2-16, 0-5) gave the Charleston all it could handle early-on.
Shooting better than 60% from the floor, Elon used an 11-0 run to open up a 23-14 lead on Sam Sherry’s layup with 10:11 to play before halftime.
”I was really proud of the way our guys competed,” Elon coach Billy Taylor said. ”It was hostile environment on the road against a ranked opponent. We’ve had a lot of injuries this year. We really competed and fought hard and I was proud. College of Charleston continued to push and took control in the second half.”
The Cougars answered with a 12-2 run of their own and tied the game at 26 on a tap-in from Charles Lampten with 5:41 to play in the opening half.
Charleston, the top 3-point shooting team in the CAA, relied on its long distance shooting in the second half. The Cougars took a season-high 45 shots from beyond the arc, making 15.
”You look at the box and that’s a lot of 3s, but that was what the game kind of dictated,” said Charleston guard Reyne Smith, who was 4 of 13 from long distance. ”We took what the defense was giving us.”
After trailing by a basket at halftime, the Cougars came out on a 22-6 run to grab a 54-40 lead on one of Bolton’s six 3-pointers with 11:35 to play in the game.
”I think in the second half we attacked the basket,” Kelsey said. ”We wanted to touch the paint and generate shots that way. I thought we were settling for the first pretty good shot and not working to get a great one. We did a lot better job of that in the second half.”
At one point, the Cougars connected on six straight 3s to extend their advantage.
Smith finished with 14 points, and Ryan Larson added 12 in the victory.
Elon was led by Max Mackinnon’s 17 points.
Elon: The Phoenix figured to be overmatched from the get-go, yet hung in for a half as they continue looking for their first CAA win – and victory over a Division I – opponent this season.
College of Charleston: The Cougars came out flat after a highly charged 71-69 victory at UNC Wilmington on Wednesday. They found themselves, along with their outside shooting, in time to prevent one of the season’s biggest surprises.
Former College of Charleston guard Andrew Goudelock was inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame during a halftime ceremony.
Goudelock, a second-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Lakers, is the Cougars’ all-time leading scorer with 2,571 career points from 2007-11 which ranks 46th all-time in the NCAA Division I men’s basketball.
Elon: Plays at UNC Wilmington on Monday night.
College of Charleston: Plays William & Mary on Monday night.
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