CHARLESTON, SC - Joe Chealey and Jarrell Brantley combined for 55 points to lead College of Charleston to one of its best offensive performances of the season in a 93-78 rout of Delaware on Tuesday night at TD Arena.
The Cougars (11-3, 2-0 CAA) are off to a hot start to Colonial Athletic Association play as they shot a season-best 66.7 percent from the field (32-of-48) versus the Blue Hens (8-7, 1-1 CAA), who was coming off a road win at defending CAA champion UNCW in the conference opener.
Chealey moved into the Top 10 in career scoring at the College of Charleston with his game-high 29 points, while Brantley added 26 on 8-of-10 shooting from the field and a perfect 8-for-8 from the charity stripe.
CofC trailed 44-43 at halftime and picked up its offensive production in the second half shooting 70.4 percent from the floor (19-of-27) to take over the lead.
Grant Riller had 18 points and Marquise Pointer 14 points as the Cougars rolled to their fourth-straight win. They remain an undefeated 7-0 this season at TD Arena.
Delaware was led in scoring by Eric Carter's 23 points and Ryan Daly's 17 points. The Blue Hens shot equally as well from the field (56.0%), but were marred by 10 turnovers which contributed to 15 of CofC's points in the ballgame.
The preseason favorite to win the league, Charleston travels to Drexel and Towson this week to complete a tough three-games in six-day schedule. The Cougars will face the Dragons (6-9, 0-2 CAA) first on Friday, Jan. 5 at 7 p.m. (ET) in Philadelphia, Pa., before their second meeting with the Tigers on Sunday, Jan. 7 at 2 p.m. (ET) in Towson, Md.
• For the second time this season, College of Charleston went with the starting five of Joe Chealey, Grant Riller, Cameron Johnson, Jarrell Brantley and Nick Harris.
• With the win, College of Charleston takes a 7-5 lead in the all-time series with Delaware. The Cougars have now won four-straight in the series after sweeping the Blue Hens in the regular season a year ago.
• Joe Chealey turned in a game-high 29 points against Delaware and surpassed former CofC great Steven Johnson (1,456) for a spot in the Top 10 among the all-time leading scorers in program history. He has now tabulated 1,468 career points to date which ranks 10th. It marked his fifth game this season with 20 points-or-more in a single game.
• Jarrell Brantley recorded a season-high 26 points versus Delaware and led the Cougars with six rebounds. It marked his second-straight game in double figures and ninth career 20-point outing.
• For the second-straight game, CofC had two players score 20 points in Joe Chealey (29 points) and Jarrell Brantley (26 points). The duo combined for 55 of the team's 93 points in the ballgame.
• Marquise Pointer came off the bench and contributed a season-high 14 points versus Delaware. He also added five rebounds in the winning cause.
• Grant Riller extended his double-digit scoring streak to eight-consecutive games with 18 points against Delaware.
• It marked the fourth time this season that the Cougars had four-or-more players in double figures in a single game. They previously had four players in double figures against High Point on Dec. 4 and five players in double figures versus North Greenville on Dec. 10.
• CofC registered its highest-scoring output of the season with 93 points versus Delaware, which bested a 92-point performance against North Greenville on Dec. 10.
• The Cougars shot a season-high 66.7 percent from the field (32-of-48) and a season-best 50.0 percent from beyond the arc (9-of-18) against Delaware. They last shot better than 60 percent from the field at Northeastern (62.7%) on Feb. 18, 2017 in Boston, Mass.
• CofC shot 70.4 percent from the floor in the second half and nearly broke the school NCAA Division I record for highest field-goal percentage of 68.6 percent versus Charleston Southern on Jan. 14, 1993 and all-time school record (NAIA and NCAA) of 70.0 percent versus The Citadel on Jan. 13, 1987.
College of Charleston Head Coach Earl Grant
On the game …
"It was a great offensive performance. I thought the guys shot the ball with a lot of confidence tonight. I thought they shared it well. I told them, 'we've been able to win games ugly, but sometimes its nice for them not to be ugly.' We have won them ugly by 60 points to 47 or 62 points to 50. But tonight, our offense really really showed up. Certainly there are things to improve on. I'm just proud our guys were able to share the ball and be so confident on their approach on the offensive side of it."
On turning the tide in the second half …
"We had a big win the other night against Towson. I told the guys the last two days, 'it's going to be all about our energy level. This is a good team coming in. Delaware is a much-improved team and their coach does a great job with their team. You will have to keep your hammer out. You will have to chip away at it. It will take a long time before they go away.' I felt it from watching film of their games. They had some really quality good wins. What I thought may happen, happened. The levee finally broke after a long period of time. It was slow, took a lot of chipping, and eventually in the second half, the flood gates opened."
College of Charleston Senior Guard Joe Chealey
On the team's offensive performance …
"It was one of those nights where we had it going. We couldn't stop them either for a little while (in the first half). Luckily, we got some good shots, moved the ball around a little bit and the shots were falling for us."
On Delaware's first half …
"You have to give them (Delaware) credit. Coach (Grant) said they were a good, tough team and were talented. They hit made some tough shots – shots we will live with. We tried to get guys to shoot contested threes and contested pull-ups. They hit some of those throughout the game. The ones we can't live with are the offensive rebounds, the stick-backs, drives and layups. They are a good team and it's the CAA."
College of Charleston Junior Forward Jarrell Brantley
On the game …