Cougars' Upset Bid Falls Short at No. 4 Louisville, 69-62

Chad MiddletonContributor IDecember 21, 2011

If a college basketball game was 35 minutes, the College of Charleston would be 10-1 right now. Unfortunately, the games are 40 minutes and the Cougars are 9-2 after squandering a late lead to fourth-ranked Louisville 69-62 in Kentucky.

Bobby Cremins coached a great game, as he was going to force Louisville to beat the Cougars inside but deny them shooting too many three pointers. 

The game started out with Louisville on fire, quickly sprinting to an eight-point lead. Kyle Kuric hit a pair of quick three pointers for the Cardinals, and Gorgui Dieng quickly made his inside presence felt.

The Cougars held a 59-58 lead with 4:03 remaining to play, but Louisville turned up the pressure that really got to the College of Charleston and was just too much for the Cougars.

"It was a heck of a ballgame. Their pressure finally caught up to us down the stretch," Cremins said. "Their pressure is relentless."

The College of Charleston hit 12 three pointers against the Cardinals which usually translates into victories but their youth really showed down the stretch as Louisville proved too formidable an opponent.

Louisville's Kyle Kuric finished with 17 points and Gorgui Dieng, who was a force underneath the basket, added 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Antwaine Wiggins scored 23 points and pulled down seven rebounds. 

The Cougars led 37-33 at the half and extended the lead to 46-38 early in the second half. It was only the second time this year Louisville has trailed at halftime. 

Matt Sundberg played his best game as a Cougar with nine points and nine rebounds and clutch three pointers the entire game. 

The one Cougar who had a game he would rather forget is Trent Wiedeman.  He missed two simple layups under the basket that would have kept the game close down the stretch but both rimmed out. Louisville hit a three pointer after one miss and shot free throws after the other to seal the game. 

The lesson for Trent is dunk the ball when you are that close.

The College of Charleston had 21 turnovers which was a season high. 

Bobby Cremins was proud of his team's effort and performance. "It was a heck of a ballgame. Their pressure finally got to us down the stretch. I am really proud of our guys. This is a great learning experience for us. We had a chance there. Coach Pitino is a great coach. They are relentless. Their pressure is relentless. The next game is a big one and different type of game and we will have to be prepared for Coastal".

The College of Charleston doesn't get a long time to dwell on this game. Thursday night they have a big game against Coastal Carolina who is also 9-2 and has beat LSU and Clemson this year.