Marquise Pointer scored 12 points, including a go-ahead jumper, Nick Harris scored 11 with eight rebounds, and the College of Charleston beat Sam Houston State, 59-49, on Thursday night in the consolation semifinals of the 2017 GCI Great Alaska Shootout.
Joe Chealey scored 13 points with eight assists and Jaylen McManus added nine points with three 3-pointers for the Cougars (3-2), who will face host Alaska Anchorage (4-3) in the 4th/6th place game on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 2:30 p.m. (AST) / 6:30 p.m. (EST).
Marcus Harris hit a 3 to end more than 7:36 scoreless minutes for the Bearkats (2-3) in the first half, who closed to 32-28 early in the second half. Albert Almanza tied it at 41 with a three-pointer, but Harris hit a layup, Evan Bailey added a 3, and the Cougars went up, 46-41, and led by 11 with 1:02 left to play.
Chealey, the preseason Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year, hit four free throws down the stretch to seal it. Chris Galbreath Jr. led Sam Houston State with 11 points and seven rebounds.
McManus opened with a 3-pointer and the Cougars led 12-7 after he hit another 3. Galbreath put the Bearkats up 15-14 with a jumper, but Pointer hit a go-ahead jumper and the Cougars scored nine unanswered points, while the Bearkats went scoreless the rest of the way to lead 25-18 at halftime.
• For the first time this season, the College of Charleston used the starting lineup of Joe Chealey, Marquise Pointer, Cameron Johnson, Jaylen McManus and Nick Harris. It marked Pointer’s first start of the season and 20th of his career.
• With the win, the Cougars take a 1-0 lead in the all-time series with Sam Houston State. It marked the first time for the program to play a school hailing from the Southland Conference since becoming a NCAA Division I member school in 1991-92.
• Joe Chealey turned in a game-high 13 points to extend his current double-digit scoring streak to five-straight games. He also dished out eight assists with one turnover against Sam Houston State. Chealey moved into the Top 15 on the school’s all-time career scoring list ahead of former CofC greats Pat Harrington (1,307) and Antwaine Wiggins (1,306) with 1,318 career points to date.
• Marquise Pointer reset season highs in points (12), rebounds (7) and assists (4) versus Sam Houston State. He has now scored in double figures in back-to-back games at the Great Alaska Shootout. He tied his career-best with five defensive boards against the Bearkats next to five versus LSU on Nov. 30, 2015.
• Jaylen McManus registered a career-and season-high nine points on 3-of-5 shooting from the field and career-best 3-of-4 shooting from long range against Sam Houston State.
• Nick Harris had a near double-double with a season-high tying 11 points and game-high eight rebounds versus Sam Houston State. He also made two blocked shots.
• The CofC defense held the Bearkats to an opponent season-low 18 first-half points and 49 total points in the ballgame. Sam Houston State also shot an opponent season-low 31.0 percent (18-of-58) from the field.
• Brevin Galloway made his CofC debut grabbing two rebounds in eight minutes of action off the bench.
College of Charleston Head Coach Earl Grant
On the game …
“I thought we played with great toughness. We showed great togetherness by sharing the ball with 15 assists. Our defense was really good. We held them (Sam Houston State) to under 50 points and 31.0 percent (shooting) from the field. I thought it was an unbelievable effort from our guys to show that type of character – to go out and find a way to dig a game out. They chipped away at it through the ups-and-downs of the game. I’m really proud of them. They were able to defend and rebound at a high level tonight.”
On the play of Marquise Pointer, Jaylen McManus and Nick Harris …
“Marquise is a winner. He’s been a big part of our program the last few years. He has been coming off the bench playing 20 minutes a game, and tonight, we needed him to play more. He has won at every level and he showed it tonight. I was really proud of him. I thought Jaylen McManus gave us a lift by making three 3’s. That was unbelievable for him to step-up and go 3-for-4 from three. Nick Harris was great inside. It was a total team effort. They did some really great things for us tonight and I’m really proud of all of them.”