Doing the Charleston. Charleston 82, #9 North Carolina 79. We tweeted this during the game, but it bears saying again here: America, if you didn’t know him before, may we introduce you to Andrew Goudelock. He is a 6’2 junior guard from Lilburn, Georgia, and he plays for the Charleston Cougars. No, that’s not a minor league baseball team. Despite their 8-6 record, it’s a pretty good basketball team that knocked off the 9th-ranked Tar Heels on Monday night. We single out Goudelock for three reasons. First, when you put up 24 points on 10-20 shooting (including 4-8 from behind the three-point line) against North Carolina, you deserve a mention. Second, we had him fourth on our pre-season all-Jeff Fryer team as one of the best three-point shooters in the nation and he made us look like freakin’ geniuses. Lastly, it was his three from distance with two seconds left in regulation that forced overtime. You have to see this shot. Fading away, Ed Davis challenging, just short of 30 feet, so high we’re sure it showed up on NORAD radar. All string.
In fact, when Carolina was up by 11 at the final TV timeout, this just looked like a moral victory for Charleston. The lead was cut to eight, and Goudelock went on an 8-0 run by himself (including the long three) to close the scoring in regulation. It wasn’t like he didn’t have any help, though. Senior forward Casaan Breeden was impressive as well, adding 15/7/5 blocks, including one block of an Ed Davis shot late in regulation that must have sailed, as ESPNU color commentator Bob Wenzel said, “about 16 rows deep into the crowd.” Indeed, every single one of Charleston’s starters scored at least 13 points (they only played eight players, and got only two points from their bench), also accounting for all 13 of their threes. As for Carolina, they were guilty of poor game management late in both regulation and overtime. They waited too long to foul when they needed to foul, fouled too quickly when they didn’t need to foul, got caught sleeping on an important in-bounds which led to an easy late bucket for Charleston, and missed a couple of close, easy shots in important situations despite owning the paint for most of the game. Most intriguing, though, was the glaring disparity of threes and free throws between the two sides. Charleston was 13-32 for 40.6%. UNC was ONE FOR SIX (16.7%). Their streak of 421 straight games with a three-pointer was doomed until Larry Drew, II, hit one with a minute left in overtime. From the free throw line, UNC shot 24-34 (70.6%), while Charleston was only three for six! Charleston played a tough man defense for most of the game, but didn’t seem to be doing anything special to defend the three. It looked like UNC just didn’t want to take them. Unfortunately for them, 24 free throws simply cannot compete with 13 three pointers. There’s no doubt Carolina will recover from this, since they were playing without Will Graves and Marcus Ginyard, and life in the ACC will teach the young Tar Heels all that they need to know. They’ll be fine by March. But that shouldn’t take away from Charleston’s victory. Goudelock showed that he’s not just about the three, Charleston showed that they’re better than their 8-6 record (3-0 in the Southern Conference, by the way) and are brimming with new confidence — and the Charleston fans showed that they can rush a court with the best of them:
(Ed. note: This RTC is approved under Provision IV of the Modified Forde Criteria.)