CHARLESTON, S.C. – Grant Riller and Jarrell Brantley combined for 46 points to lead College of Charleston to a 70-53 victory over James Madison on Thursday night at TD Arena.
The Cougars (17-6, 6-4 CAA) have now won three in a row and avenged a 69-58 road loss to the Dukes (9-14, 2-8 CAA) in early January. The win moved them into a tie for third with Delaware in the Colonial Athletic Association standings.
It was a back-and-forth game through much of the 40 minutes of play until Charleston capped the game off on an 18-2 run.
The Cougars led by only two, 30-28, at halftime. They jumped out to a double-figure lead on a 3-pointer from Brantley, 61-51, with 5:03 remaining in regulation.
Riller ended the night with a game-high 24 points, while Brantley added 22. Jaylen Richard came off the bench a contributed eight points.
The Dukes lost their fifth straight and had three players in double figures including 22 points from leading scorer Stuckey Mosley.
Defensively, CofC held its third-straight league opponent to under 60 points. JMU also committed 15 turnovers to which the Cougars converted into 21 of their points.
The Cougars host Towson (8-15, 4-6 CAA) next to close out a four-game homestand on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 4 p.m. (ET) at TD Arena. Tickets can be purchased by calling (843) 953-COFC or going online at: www.CofCSports.com/tickets
• For the 10th-straight CAA game, College of Charleston went with the starting five of Marquise Pointer, Grant Riller, Brevin Galloway, Jarrell Brantley and Nick Harris (6-4).
• With the win, College of Charleston improved to 9-5 in the all-time series with James Madison. The Cougars split the regular-season series with the Dukes and have now won six of the last seven meetings between the two schools.
• The dynamic duo of Grant Riller and Jarrell Brantley combined for 46 of the team’s 70 points versus James Madison. It marked the 13th game this season that both combined for 40+ in a single game.
• Riller scored a game-high 24 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the field against JMU. It marked his 15th game this season with 20-or-more points. He surpassed former CofC great Thaddeous Delaney (1994-97) for seventh on the school’s all-time career scoring list with 1,573 points to date.
• Brantley recorded his ninth 20-point game of the season with 22 points against James Madison. He also made five rebounds, three assists, two blocks and one steal. Brantley has now tabulated 1,714 career points and 880 career rebounds to date which both rank sixth all-time in program history.
• CofC forced James Madison to commit 15 turnovers to which it converted into 21 of its own points. The Cougars also held the Dukes to just 53 points – the third-consecutive CAA opponent to be held to under 60 points.
• Zep Jasper made a team-and career-high seven rebounds including five on the defensive end against JMU.
• Jaylen Richard turned in a perfect shooting night from the field (2-for-2), long range (2-for-2) and free throw line (2-for-2) for a total of eight points versus James Madison.
College of Charleston Head Coach Earl Grant
On the game …
“I really thought the guys played with a lot of toughness tonight. Certainly, you have to give James Madison credit. They have a good ballclub and it was a tough game. I thought we took another step in the right direction. The big thing we try to do is take care of the ball and rebound. We only had five turnovers, so not turning it over, being very disciplined with the ball and making the opponent have a hard time to find good shots. I’m happy for our guys, with a crowd that good and that loud, it was nice to play the right way for them. I thought we had great competitive spirit.”
On closing out the game strong …
“The reason we coach is – it’s a season. They call it a season for a reason. You have to go all the way to the ends of March. I feel like we haven’t reached our potential, but we are showing some signs. The last five-or-six minutes to be able to get stop-after-stop-after-stop, be disciplined, take care of the ball and execute offensively. I thought that was a good sign. That’s not something that we’ve done three weeks ago. We have to keep working hard and staying true to who we are. See if we can reach our potential over the next three weeks to six weeks.”
College of Charleston Junior Guard Grant Riller
On the win …
“It was a good win. Our crowd got us going early. Obviously, our emotions were a little high, because we lost at their place (earlier this month). It was just good that we came out here, defended well and got a W.”
College of Charleston Senior Forward Jarrell Brantley
On the back-and-forth game …