CHARLESTON, S.C. – Canyon Barry had 19 points and College of Charleston used a big first-half charge to hand LSU its third consecutive loss, 70-58, on Monday night at TD Arena.
The Tigers (3-3) were looking for a soft place to recover after falling to Marquette and North Carolina State last week. The Cougars (4-2) proved they were not about to concede anything to LSU’s dynamic freshman tandem of Ben Simmons and Antonio Blakeney.
Barry scored 12 of his points in the opening half as Charleston pulled in front 41-17 on Payton Hulsey’s foul shots to start the second half.
LSU sliced things to 63-56 on Jalyn Patterson’s 3-pointer with 1:08 to play. That was as close as the Tigers could get.
Simmons led LSU with 15 points and 18 rebounds, his fourth double-double in six college games. Blakeney missed all nine of his shots, the team’s leading scorer ending with one point.
Fans rushed the court when the clock ran out, celebrating the Cougars latest win over Power Five league team. Charleston has beaten North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee in the TD Arena’s seven seasons.
The Cougars pushed the pace early, made outside shots and played strong defense on Simmons and Blakeney.
The two, who came in averaging better than 32 points a game, would end up with just 4 in the first 20 minutes on combined 1-of-10 shooting.
LSU went through several scoreless stretches, the longest lasting more than six minutes as the Cougars pulled away.
Charleston used a 13-0 run midway through the first half to turn a one-point lead into a 24-10 margin.
Barry had a 3-pointer in the surge and finished the half with 12 points.
Very little went right for LSU in the opening period. It shot just 24 percent (6 of 25) and missed seven straight foul shots.
The Tigers ended shooting 31 percent for the game and made just 15 of 27 foul shots.
CofC will next face The Citadel in a crosstown rivalry rematch set for Saturday, Dec. 5 at 11 a.m. (ET) at McAlister Field House. The game will be televised live on ESPN3.
For more information on College of Charleston Basketball, follow the Cougars on Twitter at @CofCBasketball.
· For the sixth time this season, the Cougars used the starting lineup of junior Payton Hulsey, junior Canyon Barry, sophomore Cameron Johnson, sophomore Donovan Gilmore and freshman Jarrell Brantley (4-2).
· With the victory, College of Charleston evens the all-time series 1-1 with LSU. The Cougars will travel to Baton Rouge next season to complete the 2-for-1 series between both schools. They are now 3-1 all-time when playing SEC opponents on their home court at TD Arena since the venue opened in 2008. It was the largest margin of victory (+12) in those three SEC wins ahead of South Carolina in 2008 in overtime (+2) and Tennessee in 2011 (+6).
· CofC’s 12-point win over LSU tied the largest margin of victory against a major conference school at home next to an 86-75 victory over TCU on Nov. 16, 2008 at TD Arena.
· It was the Cougars’ biggest home-court win since an 82-79 overtime thriller over No. 9-ranked and defending national champion North Carolina on Jan. 4, 2010 at TD Arena.
· Canyon Barry scored a game-high 19 points against the Tigers and has now scored in double figures in five of six games of the season.
· The CofC defense limited LSU to 17 first-half points, the fewest by an opponent at halftime since 16 first-half points scored by Howard during the 2013-14 season. The Tigers, who entered the game averaging 80.4 points, finished the game with 58 points. The Cougars are 4-0 this season when holding opponents to under 60 points.
· Cameron Johnson notched double figures for the fifth time this season with 13 points.
· Marquise Pointer tied his career high with 12 points against LSU and has now scored in double figures in back-to-back games. He also set career bests in rebounds (6) and steals (4).
· CofC won the battle of the boards against LSU, 47-46, and the nation’s leading rebounder in Ben Simmons. The Cougars were led in the rebounding column by junior Terrance O’Donohue (9) and freshman Nick Harris (8). It marked a season high for O’Donohue and career high for Harris.
College of Charleston Head Coach Earl Grant
On the game …
“Our guys did a great job. I give them all the credit. They played hard, they played together and they deserved to win tonight. We had a couple of days to prepare (for LSU). Even though we won, it wasn’t easy. Our guys bounced back with a great crowd and were able to show the fans a great spirit.”
On playing LSU and building on a signature win …
“Yesterday, someone interviewed me and said, ‘What do you think about LSU and Ben Simmons?’ and I said, ‘it’s just the next game on the schedule and it’s going to be hard.’ But, every game is hard. Everything is a first for us and for me. This is the first signature win, so ‘how will they respond?’ I don’t know. We have tomorrow off, but on Wednesday when we practice, I won’t be thinking about LSU. There are so many things we can get better at. We just have to keep figuring out what they are and improve on them.”
On getting out to a big lead in the first half …
“It is dangerous being up big at half. Sometimes you feel like the game is over. We weathered the storm.”
College of Charleston Junior Guard Canyon Barry
On the game …
“This was one of the most fun games I have ever played. But, we approach every game the same. We came out and gave 100 percent effort. Ben Simmons is a heck of a player and definitely a first-round draft pick. We trusted our defense and our four-man guard. Overall, our team played great together – great execution, great flow. We got a little stagnate towards the end of the second half, had some turnovers late, but we were able to hold it off and great win for the Cougars.”
On the team’s rebounding effort against LSU …
“Everyone was boxing out and limiting Ben Simmons’ rebounds. Everyone did a great job following the game plan. Its impressive we outrebounded that team, because they have a pretty big size.”
On the big win over LSU …
“Every win helps. It’s exciting to come away with this win, but moving forward, we kind of have to forget about it. Celebrate tonight, but then come back tomorrow and be ready to work, because it’s in the past.”
On the play of Nick Harris …
“That is the Nick Harris we all know. He has been removed from the game (after redshirting the 2014-15 season), but seeing him come back tonight against such a great team, which LSU was, it was really exciting to see.”
College of Charleston Sophomore Guard Cameron Johnson
On the momentum to start the first half …
“Coach (Grant) told us to attack from the jump and play our ball – that’s what we did tonight.”
LSU Head Coach Johnny Jones
On the play of College of Charleston …
“We knew coming into the game this was going to be a hard basketball game tonight. This team, what they have done in preseason, with their schedule and the way they have played tonight was a lot of the same. I think they (College of Charleston) did an excellent job coming out in the beginning of the game establishing themselves offensively, making plays and got out of the gate like they needed to. They did an excellent job of getting off to a great start. They played the game the way it needed to be played.”
On trying to overcome the first-half deficit …
“We did not recover in the first half. In the second half, I think we came out and played with a little bit more sense of urgency, offensively and defensively. We had a much better second half, but you can’t afford to play a team like this and come out without that same type of desire. We did not do a great job of sharing the ball enough, screening, and making tough plays, which they did in the first half. We had to get after them at halftime and make sure we understood the way that we were playing was not acceptable. We had to come out and play tougher.”