CHARLESTON, S.C. – Grant Riller scored the game-winning layup with 15 seconds left in regulation as College of Charleston hung on for a 54-53 win over Towson on Saturday at TD Arena.
The Cougars (18-6, 7-4 CAA) have now won four in a row in conference play and got much of their scoring from their bench against the Tigers (8-16, 4-7 CAA).
Reserve guard Zep Jasper scored all of his 12 points in the first half on 4-of-5 shooting from 3-point range, while Riller ended the night with 12 including seven points in the last two and a half minutes of play. He made the left-handed reverse layup off the dish from Sam Miller.
CofC shot just 39.2 percent from the field and had 11 turnovers against Towson’s defense. The Cougars led by just two at halftime, 29-27.
The Tigers made a comeback at the end of the second half and took over the lead on a layup by Solomon Uyaelunmo with 5:07 left on the clock.
Tobias Howard, who missed the front end of a 1-and-1 that led to the eventual rebound and game-winning play, turned in a team-high tying 10 points with Allen Betrand for Towson.
The Cougars will hit the road next week for a two-game conference road swing at Delaware and Drexel. CofC will open that stretch with the Blue Hens (14-10, 6-5 CAA) on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. (ET) in Newark, Del.
• For the 11th-straight CAA game, College of Charleston went with the starting lineup of Marquise Pointer, Grant Riller, Brevin Galloway, Jarrell Brantley and Nick Harris (7-4).
• With the win, College of Charleston took a two-game lead in the all-time series with Towson, 9-7. The Cougars have now won seven of the last nine meetings between the two schools. It marked only the second time to claim the regular-season series sweep of the Tigers next to the 2015-16 season.
• Zep Jasper came off the bench and scored all 12 of his team-and game-high tying points in the first half against Towson. He went a career-best 4-for-5 from long range in 24 minutes of action. It marked the fifth double-figure scoring game of his career.
• Grant Riller extended his career-best double-digit scoring streak to 19-straight games with 12 points versus Towson. He has now tabulated 1,585 career points to date.
• Jarrell Brantley scored in single digits for the first time in 29-consecutive games played, but led the Cougars with a game-high nine rebounds against the Tigers.
• Both team’s defenses made for a low-scoring affair as the Cougars were held to a season-low 54-point output and Towson to the second-lowest opponent scoring output this season (53 points).
• The CofC defense has now held each of its last four CAA opponents to scoring under 60 points.
• The Cougars’ bench scored a season-high tying 25 points versus Towson, which tied the Elon game for the most bench production this season on Jan. 24.
College of Charleston Head Coach Earl Grant
On the game …
“When your back is against the wall, you have to hang in there. That’s what I told the guys. Anytime you deal with tough times like that type of adversity or trials and tribulations, it will test you. It will test your faith, make you want to wilt and make you figure out who you are as a person. I also think it builds endurance. In February, we need to build as much endurance to get us in a situation when we are in March and we believe in each other. I thought the guys did a good job of hanging in there. Give Towson credit. We have played a couple of football games with them in the past. Final score, 40-37 (in 2016). It’s not a big shocker the game was in the 50s. They played hard and they rebounded the ball. Coach (Skerry) had his team prepared and ready to play. They had won three out of four. I knew it was going to be a tough one. I’m just happy our guys were able to sustain their spirit and didn’t wilt. They did a great job of finding a way to get it done.”
On no easy wins in the CAA …
“Winning is hard. Sometimes you need to appreciate it. When you have a three-or-four game win streak or win 10 in a row. It may look easy sometimes, but winning is hard. This team has its own personality. This is the first year this team has been together in terms of the collection of the group. We are trying to form who we are. A game like tonight helps us with that. We have to keep trying to get better everyday, stay the course and try to run through the tape, so we can be at our best at the end of the season.”
College of Charleston Redshirt Freshman Guard Zep Jasper
On the game …
“Coming into the game, we knew it was going to be a tough game. We knew Jarrell and G (Riller) were struggling when the game first started. There really were no fouls called on us. It was an up-and-down paced game. They tell me all the time to, ‘be ready to shoot and be ready to score.’ The team was locked in on him (Riller) and I was ready from the jump.”
On his shooting performance from 3-point range …
“I was feeling it in the first half. I was feeling like I was on fire. I felt like I couldn’t miss a shot. When they tell me to shoot the ball, that’s what I do is shoot. I just knew every shot was going in when I took it.”
College of Charleston Junior Forward Sam Miller
On the game-winning play …
“Coach Grant drew up the play in the huddle and Grant (Riller) came up to me as we were going down the court and he said, ‘I’m going.’ I just knew to be decisive, and when I saw the guy’s head turn, I threw it where he couldn’t get it. Grant had some good hands to keep it inbounds and finish the layup.”
On the team’s struggles in the second half …