Cougars Survive Drexel Comeback In Road Win

Cougars Survive Drexel Comeback In Road Win
Jarrell Brantley had 22 points to lead College of Charleston to a win over Drexel

PHILADELPHIA – Five players scored in double figures including 22 points from Jarrell Brantley as College of Charleston survived a late second-half comeback by Drexel, 86-84, on Saturday night at the Daskalakis Athletic Center.

The defending Colonial Athletic Association champion Cougars (20-6, 9-4 CAA) recorded their third-consecutive 20-win season under head coach Earl Grant in the road victory. They have now won six in a row – the longest current streak among all 10-member schools.

Charleston split the regular-season series with the Dragons (12-14, 6-7 CAA) and avenged a heartbreaking one-point loss, which halted their home-court win streak to 22 games in both teams’ first meeting on Jan. 10.

Grant Riller scored 19 points, while Marquise Pointer had 13, Brevin Galloway 10 and Sam Miller 11.

The Cougars led by as many as 16 points with 14:19 remaining in regulation, but Drexel would capitalize on turnovers as well as missed shots and free throws by CofC down the stretch.

Trevor John pulled the Dragons within two, 86-84, with 4.9 seconds left on a pair of free throws following a flagrant foul called on Brantley. John then took the inbounds pass at the top of the arc, dribbled twice and tossed a last-second 3-point shot that hit the glass at the buzzer.

Troy Harper scored a career-high 30 points in the loss for Drexel, while Alihan Demir added 18.

The Cougars return home to face the two top teams in the league in first-place Hofstra (21-4, 11-1 CAA) on Thursday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. (ET) and preseason CAA favorite and second-place Northeastern (15-9, 9-3 CAA) on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 4 p.m. (ET) at TD Arena. Tickets can be purchased by calling (843) 953-COFC or online at: www.CofCSports.com/tickets

POSTGAME NOTES

• College of Charleston went with the starting five of Marquise Pointer, Grant Riller, Brevin Galloway, Jaylen McManus and Jarrell Brantley. It marked McManus’ first start of the season and 14th of his career. He replaced Nick Harris in the lineup, who missed the Drexel game due to family reasons.

• With the win, College of Charleston avenged a 79-78 loss to Drexel on Jan. 10 at TD Arena. The Cougars split the regular-season series with the Dragons and have now won six of the last eight contests between the two schools.

• The Cougars turned in their third-consecutive 20-win season under head coach Earl Grant. The program has now recorded 20-win seasons on 19 all-time occasions since joining the NCAA Division I ranks in 1991-92.

• Jarrell Brantley registered his 10th 20-point game of the season with a team-high 22 points at Drexel. He fouled out of the ballgame with two rebounds, two assists, one block and three steals in 35 minutes of action. Brantley has tabulated 1,755 career points and 896 rebounds to date which both rank sixth all-time in the CofC record books.

• Grant Riller extended his double-digit scoring streak to 21-consecutive games with 19 points at Drexel. He also dished out a team-best four assists, five rebounds and three steals. Riller was one day removed of celebrating his 22nd birthday and has now tallied 1,624 career points to date.

• Brevin Galloway turned in back-to-back games in double figures with 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting and two 3-pointers at Drexel.

• Marquise Pointer recorded his second double-digit game this season with 13 points in 28 minutes of play at Drexel. It marked a season high and the 29th double-figure scoring game of his career.

• Sam Miller contributed a season-high 11 points off the bench on 4-of-6 shooting from the field at Drexel.

• Jaylen McManus led the team in rebounding for the sixth time of his career with a team-high six boards at Drexel.

• For the second-straight game, the Cougars shot 50 percent or better from the field (52.5%) against Drexel.

• CofC dished out the third-most assists (15) in a single game this season versus the Dragons, while also committing the third-fewest turnovers (6) in a single game this season.

POSTGAME QUOTES

College of Charleston Head Coach Earl Grant

On the game …

“It was a very physical game. The road is tough and I’m glad we were able to get two this week (at Delaware and Drexel). This team has improved a lot. We have been guarding better and taking care of the ball well. A lot of their points came in the last five minutes. It was bizarre. We were guarding them well and we made big free throws at the end. We controlled the game for 35 minutes, but didn’t finish it off the way we would have liked to (defensively).”

On Marquise Pointer setting the tone early for the team …

“He played really well tonight. We didn’t know if he would play. He got banged up in the Delaware game and sat out the second half. He didn’t do too much in practice yesterday, but he felt really good at shootaround today and we were able to get him out. He really gave us energy to start off the game.”

College of Charleston Senior Guard Marquise Pointer

On his approach going into the game and jumpstarting the Cougars in the first half …

“I knew coming into today, it was going to be very mental for me. Knowing I had a slight injury the game before (at Delaware). I felt good this morning and kinda tricked my mind a little bit and said, ‘can I go fully?’ I had to go in fully confident with my body and what it could do. I needed to give the team energy.”

On the final four minutes of the game …

“Drexel’s energy went up and the crowd got really into it. A few balls didn’t bounce our way and we had turnovers here and there. A couple of free throws were missed. They (Drexel) were capitalizing off our mistakes. Big ups to them for bouncing back and bringing the energy to bring it back that close.”