Cougars Hang On With 77-74 Road Win at Western Carolina

Cougars Hang On With 77-74 Road Win at Western Carolina

CULLOWHEE, N.C. (AP) – Grant Riller scored 28 points, Jarrell Brantley had 14 points, nine rebounds and a blocked shot on the final play, as College of Charleston beat Western Carolina, 77-74, on Saturday in the Catamounts’ home opener.

After a timeout with 10 seconds left, WCU inbounded it, swung it around the 3-point arc and Matt Halvorsen’s 3-point attempt from the wing was blocked.

Charleston (2-0) was down by nine points with 10 minutes to go.

Brevin Galloway made three 3-pointers and scored 17 points for Charleston. Brantley blocked three shots and Riller has scored 20+ in back-to-back games.

Charleston led 32-28 at halftime with Riller, Galloway and Brantley combining for 29 points.

Junior transfer Carlos Dotson had 21 points and eight rebounds for Western Carolina (0-2), which sought its first win under first-year coach Mark Prosser. Halvorsen scored 15 points with three 3-pointers.

The Cougars return home to host perennial Atlantic 10 Conference power Rhode Island (1-0) on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. (ET) at TD Arena. Fans are encouraged to wear maroon. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (843) 953-COFC or online at: www.CofCSports.com/tickets

POSTGAME NOTES

• For the second-straight game, College of Charleston started Zep Jasper, Grant Riller, Brevin Galloway, Jarrell Brantley and Nick Harris.

• With the win, the Cougars have now won seven-straight in the 30-game all-time series with former Southern Conference rival Western Carolina. Seven of the last eight contests between the two schools have been decided by single digits.

• Grant Riller has now turned in back-to-back games with 20+ points. He registered a game-and season-high 28 points on 11-of-17 shooting from the field at Western Carolina.

• Jarrell Brantley recorded a near double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds at Western Carolina. He also turned in his second-straight game with three blocked shots including one on the last play with seconds left on the clock in regulation.

• Brevin Galloway made his second career start and poured in a career-high 17 points versus the Catamounts.

• Jaylen Richard came off the bench and contributed five points including two big plays (first career 3-pointer and a layup) in the second half to help CofC regain the lead with 6:46 to go.

• The Cougars scored 40 of their 77 points in the paint against Western Carolina.

POSTGAME QUOTES

College of Charleston Head Coach Earl Grant

On the game …

“Certainly, Western Carolina was fired up and ready to go today. They made some big shots early. Give our guys credit. We settled down, made adjustments and did what we needed to do to find a way to win. This team needs to understand that there will be some games that we will have to fight and dig out. We can’t expect to just show up and win the game. We have to show up and play well. We didn’t necessarily play well in the first half and then we had some good patches in the second half. We got up eight (points) and made a run at the end.”

On the adjustments …

“This is a growing team. It’s early in the year. Certainly there are a lot of things we can improve and get better on. A road win is a road win – and we found a way to win it.”

On another solid performance by Grant Riller …

“You learn your team every game. What I learned tonight – it was important in that period of the game – to play Grant (Riller) at the point. He’s a veteran and has been with us for three years. He has been in tough situations. We didn’t take Zep (Jasper) out for an extended period of time. That was something for me to learn and to be able to see him at the point. We learned a lot about ourselves today.”