Charleston Update: McClellan, Rodriguez Bury the 49ers to Claim the Charleston Classic Championship

Posted by Jonah Spoerndle on November 23, 2014

by Jonah Spoerndle


Miami got a huge game from Sheldon McClellan to move to 5-0 on the season and claim the Charleston Classic Title 77-58 over the Charlotte 49ers. McClellan narrowly missed a double double scoring 19 points grabbing 8 rebounds and adding 3 assists and 1 steal. Angel Rodriguez also dominated in the game scoring 13 points with 2 rebounds 5 assists and 5 steals. Rodriguez was named the tournament’s most valuable player after the game.

Charlotte could not recover after losing their leading scorer Braxton Ogbueze to a knee injury in the middle of the first half. Ogbueze, who was named to the all-tournament team after the game, was in obvious pain as he was carried off the court by his teammate.

Mike Thorne Jr. was a bright spot for the 49ers scoring 19 points and adding 6 rebounds. Pierria Henry also scored 11 points and added 5 rebounds in the losing effort.

Both teams came out to play in the first half as they traded baskets to start out the game. The lead changed hands 6 times before Miami was able to take control. The Hurricanes rode a 10-3 run into a seven-point halftime lead.

Sheldon McClellan was a key contributor for Miami scoring 8 points and grabbing 5 rebounds. Tonye Jekiri added 7 points and 4 rebounds for the Hurricanes as well.

Ivan Benkovic played strong for the 49ers in the first half hitting all of his shots for 9 points.

But Charlotte seemed to be overmatched in the second half as the Hurricanes came out to go on a 19-7 run to increase their lead to 19 points. Miami did not let up as they continued to sustain their lead scoring at will on the Charlotte defense. Angel Rodriguez was even able to pass the ball off the backboard to a trailing Tonye Jekiri for a two-handed slam.

Miami and Charlotte will continue their rivalry on Tuesday as Charlotte will play host to the Hurricanes at 9:00 pm.



Charleston Update: Penn St. Edges out USC for 5th Place

Posted by Jonah Spoerndle on November 23, 2014

by Jonah Spoerndle


CHARLESTON, S.C. – Penn St. edged out Southern California in a nailbiter this afternoon 63-61. D.J. Newbill dominated the game for Penn St. putting in 22 points while grabbing 4 rebounds and dishing out 4 assists. Newbill has been key to their success this year as he leads the Nittany Lions in PPG with 24.0, in APG with 2.8, and is 3rd in rebounding with 6.0.

The Trojans fall to 2-3 with the loss to Penn St. USC was only able to win one game in the tournament escaping Drexel 72-70 in another close game. Their other loss of the weekend was in blowout fashion to Akron 66-46.

Penn St. was able to key on the Trojans’ best player Jordan McLaughlin. McLaughlin only managed to score 12 points in the game, while also adding 6 rebounds and 4 assists. The other top performance for USC came from Shrahinja Gavrilovic who had a double double scoring 13 points adding 10 rebounds and an assist.

Penn St. set the tone early scoring often and leading at the first media timeout 15-2. USC answered however and were able to bring the score to 16-18 with 9:08 left in the half. From that point on the game was tight until the end of the half.

Shep Garner had 12 points to lead the Nittany Lions at the half while Darion Clark had a very efficient half scoring 6 point and grabbing 6 rebounds for the Trojans.

D.J. Newbill woke up in the second half scoring 16 of his 22 points in the last half. The game remained within three points until 10:30 left to play when a pair of Gavrilovic free throws made it 47-41 Trojans. The Nittany Lions would not stay down as they crept closer and closer to the lead until they were able to regain it at 53-53 with 4:39 to play. Penn St. would keep control of the game from that point on and go on to win 63- 61.

Southern California does not get a long break as they will travel back home to face off against Cal St Fullerton on Tuesday at 11:00 pm. The road does not get any easier for the Nittany Lions either as they will play host to the Akron Zips, who took 3rd place at this tournament, on Tuesday at 7:30 pm.


UA Men’s Basketball: Akron 68 South Carolina 63 Post-Game Press Conference

Posted by Sartaj Aujla on November 23, 2014

CHARLESTON, S.C — Akron Zips Head Coach Keith Dambrot and players Kwan Cheatham and Deji Ibitayo address the media after the Zips 68-63 victory over South Carolina, to place 3rd in the Charleston Classic tournament.


UA Men’s Basketball: Zips upset South Carolina to finish off Charleston Classic appearance

Posted by Sartaj Aujla on November 23, 2014

By Benjamin Genet


CHARLESTON, S.C — Noah Robotham’s 16 points lead the Zips to a 68-63 victory over the South Carolina Gamecocks as the Zips take third place at the Charleston Classic.

For the first time in program history the Zips were able to beat two power five conference teams in the same year. Along with beating the USC Trojans from the Pac Ten on Thursday, they upset SEC power South Carolina Sunday night.

The Zips who took a 30-25 lead into the half were getting beat up inside allowing 16 points in the paint and allowing the Gamecocks to have 15 offensive rebounds.

Akron was able to make the adjustment and keep the Gamecocks in check the second half as South Carolina only grabbed 6 offensive rebounds.

Zips freshmen point guard Noah Robotham had only four points in the first half, but was able to lead them to victory in the second half putting up 12 points.

Robotham didn’t have a great night shooting the ball as he was only 4-11 from the floor, but it was his toughness to drive inside and get to the line shooting 6-8 free throws. The 6’1 point guard had no three pointers in the first half, but hit two of them in the second half on four attempts.

“They’re a good team, they win 22,23,24,25 games a season… they understand what it takes to do that,” said South Carolina head coach Frank Martin.

Beating two power five teams for the first time in the programs history didn’t surprise Zips coach Keith Dambrot.

“We’ve won a lot of games, so we know we can compete with these teams,” Dambrot said.

The Zips will play again Tuesday at 7:30pm as they will be on the road to play another power five team in Penn State, who is from the Big Ten.



UA Men’s Basketball: Akron 68 South Carolina 63 Post-Game Podcast

Posted by Sartaj Aujla on November 23, 2014

CHARLESTON, S.C — Jonah Spoerndle and Sartaj Aujla recap the Akron Zips Men’s Basketball Team’s victory over the South Carolina Gamecocks at the Charleston Classic tournament. The win places the Zips in a third place finish in the tournament.


UA Men’s Basketball: Akron and South Carolina clash in a battle for third place in the Charleston Classic

Posted by Sartaj Aujla on November 23, 2014

by Benjamin Genet


CHARLESTON, S.C — The Akron Zips and the South Carolina Gamecocks are two teams that had their sights set on a Championship run here in Charleston, but will now go head to head for third place.

The Zips who looked dominant in their first game against the USC Trojans looked like a totally different team in their second game against the Miami Hurricanes.

Zips center Pat Forsythe who is picking up extra minutes in the absences of forward Demetrius Treadwell, played well against the Trojans as he shot 6-11 for 15 points. Forsythe looked to continue his dominant play after putting up eight points in the first half against Miami, but he was only able put up three points in the second half.

“He may have tired a little bit.” Akron Zips Head Coach Keith Dambrot said on Forsythe’s 2nd half production.  “He’s been a guy that plays 16-17 minutes a game, so this is the most that he has ever played.”

The Zips would go onto lose to the Miami Hurricanes 79-51.

The South Carolina Gamecocks who dominated Cornell in their first game lost in a close game to the Charlotte 49ers by a score of 65-63.

The Gamecocks took a 36-29 lead into the half with Charlotte only shooting 35 percent, but the 49ers came out as the more aggressive team in the second half and was able to beat down South Carolina by shooting 52 percent.

Both the Zips and the Gamecocks will look to put more of a complete game together. For the Zips they need Pat Forsythe to contribute in both halves and be that dominate post presence he was against USC.

South Carolina will need to play with the same aggressive defense that they played against Cornell and in the first half of Charlotte and try to contain the Zips from scoring in the paint.

The Zips and the Gamecocks will tip off the third place game of Charleston Classic at 6:30pm at TD Arena.



UA Men’s Basketball: Akron VS South Carolina Pre-game Podcast

Posted by Sartaj Aujla on November 23, 2014

CHARLESTON, S.C — Jonah Spoerndle and Sartaj Aujla preview The University of Akron Men’s Basketball team’s matchup against the University of South Carolina Gamecocks, and recap their progress in the Charleston Classic tournament.  The teams will face off tonight, Sunday November 23rd at 6:30 p.m in the Third Place game of the Charleston Classic.


Charleston Update: Penn State survives Cornell with seconds left

Posted by Sartaj Aujla on November 22, 2014

by Sartaj Aujla


Penn State hangs on in the final seconds to pass by Cornell to the final score of 72-71.

The Nittany Lions will play Drexel and the Big Red will face University of Southern California in their next games of the Charleston Classic. Both games will be on Sunday.

D.J Newbill lead Penn state in scoring with 26 points, while Robert Hatter and Galal Cancer led Cornell with 17 apiece.

The game stayed even in the beginning of the 1st half but soon drifted off in Cornell’s favor as the Big Red went on a 8-1 run to a 17-7 advantage with 12:54 left in the 1st half.

Cornell would find another offensive spark later on in the 1st as an 11-5 run built their lead to ten over Penn State. The Nittany Lions would eventually cut the lead to nine before the end of the half at 28-37.

Penn State cut the lead to 1 after a 9-2 run to open up the second half, however Cornell would respond with a 12-2 run fueled by Robert Hatter and Galal Cancer.

Penn State would rally in the final seconds and be within one after John Johnson made a three-point jumper with only four seconds left. Cornell would get the ball back but Penn State player Shep Garner would steal the ball and swing it to D.J Newbill who drove into the paint for a layup and scores before time expired. The Nittany Lions would walk away with a victory to the score of 72-71.

Penn State will square off with the Drexel Dragons, as Cornell will face the USC Trojans next in the Charleston Classic. Both games will be this Sunday.


Charleston Update: Charlotte upsets South Carolina in final minutes

Posted by Sartaj Aujla on November 22, 2014

by Sartaj Aujla


CHARLESTON, S.C – Charlotte overcame a seven point deficit at halftime and defeated a favorited South Carolina team to the final score of 65-63 to advance to the Charleston Classic Championship.

Charlotte will face the University of Miami Hurricanes in the Charleston Classic championship game on Sunday.

South Carolina will face the Akron Zips in the Third Place game on Sunday, November 23rd at 6:30 p.m.

Charlotte had four players in double figures scoring, with Braxton Ogbeuze leading with 14 points. South Carolina had three players in double figures scoring, with Sindarius Thornwell leading with 20 points.

The 49ers were down 14 points with 5:21 left in the 1st half, but went on an 11-4 run to end the half down by 7 to the score of 29-36.

Charlotte was able to take the lead three minutes into the 2nd half when Willie Clayton made a layup from an assist by Braxton Ogbueze, bringing the score to 40-38.

Charlotte would then run away with the win as a key five second violation from the Gamecocks would turn the ball over to the 49ers with under 14 seconds left. The game would end and Charlotte would punch their ticket to the championship match to the score of 65-63.

South Carolina will face off with the Akron Zips in the third place game on Sunday.


UA Men’s Basketball: Akron – Miami (FL) Post-Game Interview

Posted by Sartaj Aujla on November 21, 2014

CHARLESTON, S.C — Benjamin Genet catches up with Head Coach Keith Dambrot after the Akron Zips Men’s Basketballs loss to the University of Miami (FL) Hurricanes in the Charleston Classic.