CHARLESTON, S.C. – Grant Riller set the College of Charleston single-game scoring record with a game-high 43 points in a 99-95 conference loss to Hofstra on Thursday night at TD Arena.
He eclipsed the program’s NCAA Division I scoring record held by all-time leading scorer Andrew Goudelock, who previously scored 39 points versus Dayton in the 2011 NIT First Round also at the same venue. One of the most efficient players in the country, Riller went 17-of-25 from the field and made four 3-pointers on a career night for the junior guard from Orlando.
The Cougars (20-7, 9-5 CAA) made a 24-point comeback in the second half behind the play of Riller. He scored 29 of his points after halftime with Charleston trailing the Pride by just eight.
Jarrell Brantley recorded 25 points and nine rebounds in the loss, while Brevin Galloway had 11 including back-to-back 3-pointers as CofC got within single digits of the Pride (22-4, 12-1 CAA) in the final seconds.
Hofstra went on a 17-0 run to build its lead as many as 24 points with 10:33 left on the clock in the second half, 81-57. Justin Wright-Foreman, the third-best scorer in the nation averaging 26.0 points entering the contest, was one of four players for Hofstra in double figures with a team-high 30 points.
CofC will look to bounce back fast with a rematch set versus preseason CAA favorite Northeastern (16-9, 10-3 CAA) on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 4 p.m. (ET) at TD Arena. Tickets can still be purchased by calling (843) 953-COFC or online at: www.CofCSports.com/tickets
• College of Charleston started Marquise Pointer, Grant Riller, Brevin Galloway, Jarrell Brantley and Nick Harris for the 13th time this season (8-5).
• In the loss, Hofstra evened the all-time series to 6-6 with College of Charleston. The Pride swept the regular-season series between the two schools for the first time in the last three years.
• Grant Riller registered a career-and game-high 43 points versus Hofstra. He also set career highs in field goals made (17) and field-goals attempted (25). Riller now ranks second all-time in the CofC record books in single-game scoring behind Sam Meade, who scored 45 points versus Clinch Valley during the program’s NAIA days on Jan. 15, 1971. He is only the third player in school history to reach the 40+ plateau next to Meade and Donnelly McCants, who scored 40 points versus UNC Asheville on Jan. 8, 1990. In the program’s NCAA Division I history, he surpassed all-time leading scorer Andrew Goudelock’s previous single-game record of 39 points versus Dayton in the NIT First Round in 2011. Riller has tabulated 1,667 career points to date and is only the second player this season in the CAA to score 40-or-more points in a game next to Justin Wright-Foreman (48 points).
• Jarrell Brantley had a near double-double performance with 25 points and nine rebounds against Hofstra. It marked the 28th career 20-point game. He has now tallied 1,780 career points and 905 career rebounds to date.
• Brevin Galloway turned in his 12th double-figure scoring game of the season with 11 points versus Hofstra. He is currently on a career-best three-game double-digit scoring streak.
• The Cougars recorded a season-high 95 points against Hofstra. It was the team’s first 90+ point game of the season and first since scoring 104 points in an overtime loss at William & Mary on Feb. 24, 2018.
• CofC went 15-of-16 from the free throw line versus the Pride, which was its second-best free throw percentage (93.8%) of the season behind 94.1 percent (16-of-17) at Towson on Jan. 3.
College of Charleston Head Coach Earl Grant
On the game …
“A lot of points in that game. Hadn’t been in a game with that much scoring. Obviously, we don’t win in the 90s. I thought they (Hofstra) certainly had players make some tremendous shots. Give them credit. We had a game plan to take away layups and contest their threes, but they made them. I thought our guys played with good effort. They were some things offensively in the first half, we should have done better. In the first six minutes in the half in terms of our game plan. We didn’t want it to be as fast as it was. We wanted it to be a little slower so we could control the tempo. But, great effort and you have to give Hofstra credit for making some hard shots. Couple of talented players knocking in threes and we couldn’t overcome that.”
On Grant Riller’s career-high 43 points …
“I never experienced a guy scoring 40 (points) on my team. Whether it was here or any other program I’ve coached at. I’m happy for him, because he works so hard. Usually, a guy who gets 43 (points), you want to get the win with it. But, he is a great player and on pace to be one of the better guys to ever play here (at College of Charleston).”
College of Charleston Junior Guard Grant Riller
On his career-high 43 points …
“The loss weighs heavier on me. I’ve had a lot of good games scoring wise and I think this is just another one. It would have felt better if it had come in a winning effort. It felt normal out there tonight. I got to the basket a lot to start the (second) half. I thought that opened the rest of my game up as far as making shots. I also got to the free throw line a little bit more than I have in the past.”
On the team’s first half of play…
“In the first half, we took a lot of quick shots, especially (missed) threes. When you have long rebounds, it helps what they (Hofstra) want to do and that’s transition. Our offense didn’t help our defense in the first half. We don’t win in the 90s usually. We win in the 60s. Credit to the them. They made a lot of shots, especially in the first half. They made us pay with all of our mistakes and you have to give them credit.”
College of Charleston Senior Forward Jarrell Brantley
On the loss …
“It’s tough. When I think about Charleston Basketball, I don’t think that’s the way we win basketball games. We win in the 60s. Coach (Grant) tells us that and we pride ourselves on that. We played a good team and they’re rolling. They (Hofstra) have a lot of good scorers, and maybe, one of the best scorers ever (in Justin Wright-Foreman). It was a good game and something for us to learn from.”
On Grant Riller’s career-high 43 points …