Charleston-Appalachian State Preview: Cougars Try To Topple Mountaineers

Steve AugerAnalyst IIFebruary 16, 2009

College of Charleston Cougars (18-7, 10-7) at Appalachian State (10-14, 7-9)

Monday, Feb. 16, 2009 – 7:30 p.m. EST

The College of Charleston Cougars, coming off of a devastating home loss to The Citadel on Saturday, venture to Boone, N.C. for a Monday night game with the Appalachian State Mountaineers.

The Cougars blew an eight point first half lead against the Bulldogs and then watched as The Citadel pulled away in the second half for the 14-point win and a sweep of the season series.

The loss proved even more costly since Davidson star Stephen Curry suffered an ankle injury in a game on Saturday. The Cougars could’ve pulled closer to the Wildcats in an effort to overtake them for first place.

Much like they did in their first game against the Bulldogs, Charleston shot poorly—6-of-21—from three-point range. Unlike the prior game, The Citadel hammered Charleston on the backboards, 38-21. To complicate matters, the Cougars’ defense was lacking as the Bulldogs made 51 percent of their shots.

Appalachian State, returning home after three straight road games, also enters the contest on a down note having dropped two in a row and three of their last four. The Mountaineers trail Samford by a half game for third place in the North Division.

This will be the second meeting of the season between the two teams. Charleston notched an eight point victory, 88-80, in the first game.

Two critical factors, overall field goal percentage and three point shots, determined the outcome of the first game between the two teams.

The Cougars made 55.6 percent of their overall shots including a blistering 52.4 percent—11-of-21—of their triples.

Leading scorer Andrew Goudelock bagged 33 points for the Cougars. The sophomore guard was 12-of-15 from the field, including 6-of-7 from beyond the arc. And just for good measure, the sharp shooter was perfect from the free throw line, making all three of his attempts.

Not to be outdone, the Mountaineers had five players score in double figures, with a high of 15 points from Donald Sims.

If Appalachian State plans to turn the tables on Charleston, they’ll need to buckle down on defense and not allow the Cougars to convert at such a high rate.

And when they’re on offense, they’ll need to improve on their own three-point shooting as they managed a meager 30 percent in the first encounter.

Current line: Appalachian State -1.5

Charleston is 8-10 against the spread with a record of 3-2 as an underdog.

Appalachian State is 8-10 against the spread with a record of 3-2 as the favorite.

After suffering a tough loss in such a big game on their home floor, will Charleston be motivated to play a team that it already beat this season?

The Mountaineers on the other hand, will certainly be looking for payback. They’ll get it.

Steve’s pick: Appalachian State -1.5