CofC Fall On the Road to Duquesne 90-72

Despite Four In Double Figures, Cougars Go Thru Several Scoring Droughts

Jeff Walker, Sports

Four days after opening the 2023-24 season by holding off Iona for a 71-69 win at TD Arena, the College of Charleston men's basketball team took to the road Friday night for a matchup against the Dukes of Duquesne University in a Veterans Day matchup in Annapolis MD. Both teams entered 1-0, with the Dukes downing Cleveland State 79-77 in their Monday opener.

Despite four players finishing in double figures Charleston suffered several scoring droughts especially in the final 10 minutes of play, falling to Duquesne 90-72 at Alumni Hall. Kobe Rodgers lead the Cougars with 14 points, going 5 of 9 from the floor with 5 of 8 from the charity stripe. Ante Brzovic recorded another double double chipping in 13 points to go along with a game best 10 rebounds.

While the Cougars were explosive early on against Iona, it was a much different game against Duquesne as CofC went 2 of 14 from the floor during a five minute scoring drought, allowing their opponents to go on a 15-0 run, building a comfortable 22-5 advantage in just eight minutes of play.

After throwing up bricks for nearly 10 minutes Reyne Smith drained from beyond the arc as the Cougars trailed 27-14 midway through the period. That was a little spark that lead to a slightly bigger flame. Three from the line by Ben Burnham followed by a long range missile by Rodgers pulled Charleston within five points (29-24) with less than five minutes before the half.

Down by as many as 17 points in the opening period, the Cougars would take their first lead (34-33) on a layup by James Scott near the one minute mark. Five unanswered by the Cougars in the final minute allowed CofC to take a 37-33 advantage into the locker room.

Charleston brought some momentum with them after the break with CJ Fulton and Smith draining 3-pointers and Burnham and Brzovic driving the lane for easy buckets. But Duquesne kept pace behind a triple and a steal for an easy layup that put the Dukes back on top 50-47 with 15:58 remaining.

After Brzovic added three the old fashioned way the contest was tied at 59 apiece approaching the midway mark. Sadly CofC's offense went south after that. An 11-0 run by Duqesne soon found the Dukes up 72-60. They would continue to pour it on. Despite a big 3-pointer by Smith, the Cougars couldn't erase a double digit deficit.

CofC finished the contest shooting just under 40 percent, making 7 of 27 from beyond the arc. Burnham and Smith ended up with 10 points apiece. Charleston fall to 1-1 early in the season.

Duquesne shot 62 percent in the second 20 minutes of play, adding 11 of 34 from long range and a perfect 13 of 13 from the free throw line. The Dukes were lead by Dae Dae Grant who had a game high 22 points including four from long range. Kareem Rozier went 6 of 9 with three 3-pointers for 20 points, with Jimmy Clark III and Andrei Savrosov adding 18 and 10 points respectively. The Dukes improve to 2-0 on the year.

The College of Charleston hope to regroup as they do battle against Vermont in the Myrtle Beach Invitational next Thursday. Tip off is at 11:30am. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU. The weekend tournament has them playing either Saint Louis or Wyoming on day two of the invitational. The Cougars have a long road trip, with their next home game not until Dec 10th when they host Rhode Island.