(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
Charleston wasted no time after the opening tip off as they took control on both ends of the court, leading with their signature defense and finishing with their newly-sparked offense.
"I told my team, 'Guys, this is the best we've played all year,'" said Charleston head coach Danny Farmer. "Both ways, we played a good game. We wanted to play a great defensive game but our offense started clicking tonight.
"We hit some big shots, some open shots that we didn't hit in the first three games but we hit them tonight."
The Bluejays jumped out to a 12-2 lead three minutes into the game and continued to expand that lead to 24-4 with less than two minutes to go in the first quarter. Notre Dame had a difficult time settling in with out the presence of 6-8 senior Ryan Willen and 6-1 junior Austin Greer, two of the Bulldogs top starters who are currently out with injuries.
"I'm not sure our big guys would have helped that much," said Notre Dame head coach Paul Hale. "Charleston out played us from the time it started.
"We're playing short handed but the people in the line up now are the ones who have to step it up," Hale added.
Charleston showed no signs of slowing down in the second quarter as superb ball movement, shot selection, and contributions from several spots in the line up helped to propel the Bluejays to a 45-15 lead at halftime.
Along with solid shooting and post play from Donald Dixon and Brian Parham, the fuel that ignited the Bluejays in the first half was Jerquawn Sherrell who lit up the nets with 17 points and three 3-pointers throughout two quarters of play.
"It was a big game for us tonight," said Sherrell. "We just came out and tried to do what our coach asked of us. We shot the ball well and played solid defense."
The Bulldogs did manage to make a run in the third quarter cutting the Charleston lead from 30 to 16. However, their run was short lived as that would be the closed Notre Dame would get.
The Bluejays answered back, once again extending their lead to 30 points with the fourth quarter bringing in substitutions and the mercy rule as Charleston rounded out the 77-47 victory.
"Notre Dame is a great team and when they get their players back they are going to be a powerhouse," said Farmer. "However, everything just seemed to come together tonight and we played a really good game."
Charleston had four players score in double digits with Sherrell leading the Bluejays, finishing with 20 points and four 3-pointers while Parham and Fred Pratt both added 14 points respectively. Dixon also got in on the action with 15 points.
Notre Dame was lead by Ty Williams with 10 points with two 3-pointers and Mark Himmelberg tacking on nine points and one three.
The Bluejays will play in the SEMO Conference title game tonight at 8:30 against the Jackson Indians.