You could almost see the youth in the College of Charleston today as the senior-laden Knights of Central Florida beat the Cougars in the Battle 4 Atlantis, 74-63.
The young Cougars didn't have that guy to step up big when they needed it most. It was a bad day for Antwaine Wiggins, who scored only two points on 1-of-6 shooting while going 0-for-3 from the free-throw line.
The Cougars were pretty good from the free-throw line in the first half, but couldn't seem to get the clutch free throws down the stretch. Central Florida was absolutely horrible from the line, shooting a morbid 13-of-27.
That didn't matter much as the Knights were too strong on the rebounds and got too much from the senior maturity. All five starters were back from last year's team, and it showed as they never lost their composure—even down seven points in the second half.
Marcus Jordan, son of Michael Jordan, played a strong game with 17 points and six assists, but the real star for the Knights was Keith Clanton. He had a career day with 28 points and 14 rebounds, and the Cougars couldn't find an answer for him.
Sophmore Trent Wiedeman had a strong day with 19 points and junior guard Andrew Lawrence had 14 points for the College of Charleston. Wiedeman was frustrated most of the day as he seemed to be frazzled by the referees most of the day.
Head coach Bobby Cremins couldn't help but shake his head in the second half as his young team turned the ball over on several crucial possessions. The Cougars fell to 3-1 and await the loser of the UNC Asheville - Connecticut game.
It was a tough loss for the Cougars but a good learning experience. With such a young team, the College of Charleston has yet to identify who they are going to be. In all of their games, they have started out fast and hung on to win. Today, they didn't get that strong start so had to play a solid 40 minutes today.
When you have a 20-point lead, you can afford to make an error or two without it coming back to haunt you. Today, there was no 20-point lead.
There is definitely talent on the Cougars team, and they had a rare awful day from Antwaine Wiggins. Don't expect him to be that awful very often and had he played even a tad stronger, the Cougars couldn't have stole this game.
All is not lost for them in this tournament. They still can use the rest of the games to get ready for conference play which starts next week along with SEC foe Tennessee and Big East power and 8th ranked Louisville on the December slate.