Four College of Charleston players scored in double figures, including a game-high 26 points and career-high 10 assists from Joe Chealey, but Cal Poly's long-range shooting was the difference as the Mustangs prevailed 73-68 in the opening round game of the Great Alaska Shootout on Wednesday at the Alaska Airlines Center.
The Mustangs (3-2) went 14-of-25 from behind the three-point arc and Victor Joseph scored eight of his 20 points in the final stretch to extend Cal Poly's win streak to three games including a non-bracketed win over Santa Clara on Saturday night.
Cameron Johnson made a three-pointer from the corner to give the Cougars (2-2) a one-point lead, 62-61, with under two minutes remaining in regulation, but Joseph made a pair of threes and Donovan Fields added four free throws to give Cal Poly a 71-65 edge with 12 seconds left.
Chealey, who turned in his second career double-double, and Evan Bailey hit back-to-back three-pointers to pull CofC within 71-68 of the Mustangs, but Joseph was fouled and made two free throws to seal the victory.
Grant Riller, the Cougars' top scorer, did not play the majority of the second half which led CofC Head Coach Earl Grantto go to his bench where Bailey and Marquise Pointer added a season-high 13 and 10 points respectively. Johnson ended the night with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field.
CofC will face Sam Houston State (2-2) tomorrow in the Great Alaska Shootout Consolation Semifinals on Thanksgiving Day at 5:30 p.m. (AST) / 9:30 p.m. (EST).
• For the fourth game in a row, the College of Charleston went with the starting lineup of Grant Riller, Joe Chealey,Cameron Johnson, Jaylen McManus and Nick Harris (2-2).
• Joe Chealey recorded a near triple-double with a game-high 26 points, career-high 10 assists and six rebounds versus Cal Poly. It marked his second-straight 20-point game and only the second double-double performance of his career. He is currently on a four-game double-digit scoring streak and moved up to 17th all-time on the school's career scoring list with 1,305 career points to date. Chealey surpassed former Cougar Tony Mitchell (1,280) on the list.
• Cameron Johnson registered 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field against Cal Poly and is currently on a two-game double-digit scoring streak.
• Evan Bailey came off the bench and turned in a season-high 13 points on 3-of-4 shooting from long range.
• Marquise Pointer turned in a season-best 10 points along with three rebounds and two steals versus Cal Poly.
• It marked a first-time meeting for College of Charleston and Cal Poly. The Cougars are now 1-2 all-time versus schools hailing from the Big West Conference.
• CofC shot 42.3 percent from beyond the arc with 11 three-pointers against Cal Poly. The Cougars have now turned in back-to-back games with 10-or-more threes with 10 at Charlotte on Nov. 18.
• Nick Harris led all rebounders with seven boards in the game and tied his season high with three blocked shots versus Cal Poly.
College of Charleston Head Coach Earl Grant
On the loss …
"Give Cal Poly a lot of credit. They really shot the ball well and played together as a team. They made big shots with 14 threes. We couldn't overcome their shooting."
On Cal Poly's bench play from their big men …
"It really didn't take us by surprise. We knew he (Jakub Niziol) could make threes. We wrote in our scouting report that he was a really good three-point shooter and we needed to make him dribble. He made five threes. He was 5-for-5. We knew they (Cal Poly) were a good shooting team. That was a big key for us – to take away their three-point shots and make them shoot if off the bounce. They did a great job of finding those open threes. Why I have to give them credit."
On the play of reserves Evan Bailey and Marquise Pointer …
"Marquise Pointer played well and did a lot of good things for us off the bench in 27 minutes. Evan Bailey was really good. He's a veteran. He hasn't had a chance to play a ton and really took advantage of the opportunity today. That was encouraging to see. Hopefully, we can build on that for the next game."