Four players scored in double figures including a game-high 23 points from preseason Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year Joe Chealey as College of Charleston escaped Northeastern with a hard-fought 69-64 road victory on Thursday night at historic Matthews Arena.
The Cougars (17-6, 8-3 CAA) and Huskies (14-9, 7-4 CAA) battled it out for 40 minutes with first place on the line. CofC is now in a two-way tie for first in the league standings with William & Mary (15-7, 8-3 CAA).
Charleston shot 45.5 percent from the field and led 31-29 at halftime. Jarrell Brantley and Grant Riller both had 13 points in the winning effort, while Nick Harris grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds including a huge three-point play in the second half.
Northeastern’s Bolden Brace tied up the ballgame at 58-58, but Jaylen McManus answered in the next possession with a huge jumper with 3:23 left on the clock to give the Cougars a 60-58 edge.
Northeastern tied the ballgame twice in the final five minutes of the ballgame including a layup by Vasa Pusica, 60-60, with 2:48 remaining in regulation.
Cameron Johnson scored four of his 11 second-half points in the final stretch to secure the road win for the Cougars. It marked their first regular-season sweep of the Huskies since joining the Colonial in 2013.
CofC will continue its two-game CAA Northern road swing at Hofstra (14-9, 7-4 CAA) on Saturday, February 3 at 7 p.m. (ET) in Hempstead, N.Y.
• For the 11th-consecutive game in league play, the 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 claimed the regular-series sweep over Northeastern for the first time since joining the CAA in July of 2013. The all-time series is now tied at 5-5.
• Joe Chealey recorded a game-high 23 points and six rebounds at Northeastern. He has now scored in double figures in 22-of-23 games of the season and it marked his ninth game this season with 20-or-more points in a single game. Chealey has tabulated 1,648 career points to date which ranks fifth all-time in program history.
• Jarrell Brantley registered 13 points and two rebounds at Northeastern. He became only the 17th player in CofC’s NCAA Division I and NAIA history to grab 600 rebounds in a career. Brantley is also one of only 12 players all-time to record 1,000 career points and 600 rebounds at CofC. He now has tabulated 1,064 career points to date.
• Cameron Johnson scored all of his 11 points in the second half at Northeastern. It marked his 10th game this season in double figures. He has now tabulated 1,034 career points to date.
• Grant Riller turned in his 18th game this season in double figures with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field. He went a perfect 3-for-3 from the free throw line against the Huskies.
• Nick Harris brought down a game-high 10 rebounds at Northeastern. It marked his fifth double-figure rebounding game this season. He has grabbed 496 career rebounds to date.
• The Cougars shot 45.5 percent from the field at Northeastern, which was their best percentage from the floor this season in a CAA road game.
• The CofC defense held the Huskies to their third-lowest scoring output of the season and lowest in league play (64 points) behind Stanford (59 points) and Ohio State (55 points).
College of Charleston Head Coach Earl Grant
On the team’s first-half start …
“We were simple. There were three-or-four things we wanted to execute. It was working for us. We had our traditional lineup out on the court. We wanted to get the ball inside early and we did. We got some transition. Then, we got into foul trouble and it got a little choppy and we had a different lineup in. When you have Jarrell Brantley and Grant Riller in foul trouble, there’s going to be a difference in your offense based on personnel and we had to tweak things. At the end of the day, I thought we started off really well and ended well. We were able to get the win on the road and we will take it.”
On Jaylen McManus’ huge shot in the second half …
“It was a huge shot. Certainly, he (Jaylen McManus) is a talented player. Hopefully that’s the shot he remembers and gets him going. I know Michael Jordan made one during his sophomore year (at North Carolina). Obviously, we can’t expect him to be like that. But, a shot like that can do a lot for a kid, especially in a tight game on the road as a young player when you step-up to make a big shot with two minutes to go.”
College of Charleston Senior Guard Joe Chealey
On having 100+ CofC Alumni in attendance at Matthews Arena …
“They (CofC Alumni) gave us a ton of energy. Every time we come to Boston, they have a good showing. We are happy they came out to support us tonight. They gave us a boost, especially down the stretch and we used it as fuel to get the win.”