Brantley Double-Double Leads Cougars To 70-61 Senior Night Victory Over UNCW

Brantley Double-Double Leads Cougars To 70-61 Senior Night Victory Over UNCW
Jarrell Brantley goes up for a slam in the College of Charleston's win over UNC Wilmington on Saturday (Al Samuels) (Source: Al Samuels)

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Jarrell Brantley recorded his fourth-consecutive double-double with a game-high 23 points and 10 rebounds to lead College of Charleston to a 70-61 victory over UNCW in both teams’ Colonial Athletic Association regular-season finale on Saturday before a season-high crowd of 4,898 fans at TD Arena.

VIDEO: CofC beats UNCW in final regular season game of the year

The Cougars (23-8, 12-6) head into next week’s conference tournament winners of nine of their last 10 games. They shot 44.8 percent from the field against the Seahawks (9-22, 5-13 CAA) to secure the win at home on Senior Day.

Brantley surpassed former CofC great Jermaine Johnson (2006-09) to move into fourth all-time in career rebounding in program history with 950 boards to date. He was one of four seniors honored prior to tipoff along with Nick Harris (eight points), Marquise Pointer (five points and five assists) and walk-on Jermaine Blackmon Jr.

Grant Riller added 22 points and six rebounds for the Cougars, who never trailed in the ballgame. The win marked head coach Earl Grant’s 100th career coaching victory at The College.

The game was tied twice in the second half as UNCW made a run and was led in scoring by big man Devontae Cacok with 16 points and 18 rebounds.

CofC will be the No. 3 seed at next week’s 2019 CAA Men’s Basketball Championship to be held on March 9-12 at the North Charleston Coliseum in North Charleston, S.C. They will face No. 6 seed Drexel (13-18, 7-11 CAA) in the quarterfinals on Sunday, March 10 at 8:30 p.m. (ET). Single-game tickets for the tournament can be purchased at the North Charleston Coliseum Box Office or online at: www.Ticketmaster.com

POSTGAME NOTES

• For the first time this season, College of Charleston went with the starting five of Marquise Pointer, Grant Riller, Jermaine Blackmon Jr., Jarrell Brantley and Nick Harris on Senior Day (1-0). It marked Blackmon’s first career start and fourth career game played as a walk-on to the program.

• With the win, College of Charleston swept the regular-season series versus UNCW for only the second time since joining the Colonial in 2013. The Cougars have now won five of the last six meetings between the two rival Coastal schools and take a two-game, 15-13, lead in the series.

• Jarrell Brantley recorded his fourth-straight double-double with a game-high 23 points and 10 rebounds versus UNCW. It marked the 35th double-double of his career and 12th of the season. He also made a career-high tying three blocked shots and four assists. Brantley surpassed former CofC great Jermaine Johnson (2006-09) to move into fourth on the school’s all-time career rebounding list (950). He has now tabulated 1,880 career points and 83 career blocks to date.

• Grant Riller registered 22 points against UNCW to extend his double-digit scoring streak to 26-consecutive games. It marked his 20th game this season with 20-or-more points.

• The Cougar defense held UNCW to a season-low 61 points. The Seahawks entered the contest with the second-best scoring offense in the CAA averaging 76.7 points per game.

• CofC Head Coach Earl Grant earned his 100th career coaching victory in the nine-point win over UNCW.

POSTGAME QUOTES

College of Charleston Head Coach Earl Grant

On the game …

“I’m really happy. No. 1 that we were able to win on Senior Night. Anytime you have a Senior Night, you want it to be joyous. I’m really happy that we had a great crowd. We almost had 5,000 fans and our goal is 5,100. Hopefully, we can continue to move toward that goal. We had a few mistakes in there with a couple of technical fouls. The game was emotional. To be able to hold a team that averages 76 points to 61 with the few miscues we had. Obviously, that’s a good sign in March that you can defend and take care of the ball. Those two things you have to do well in March to advance.”

On the team’s scoring offense …

“Thirty-nine points in the first half is a lot of points for us. Anytime I see 39 and 35 or above, because we are averaging 73, I always error to say, ‘if we score 70, we have a chance to win almost every game.’ I thought in the second half, they (UNCW) made a few adjustments coming out of the lockerroom. We came out a little flat. Maybe, because of emotions. They made a run and it’s a game of runs. They cut it to five and we were able to reestablish ourselves. We led the whole game. We had a few miscues, but I thought the guys played well.”

College of Charleston Junior Guard Grant Riller

On the win for the seniors …

“We wanted to get the win not only for Rell (Jarrell Brantley), but all the seniors. We wanted to come out here, play hard and let them leave TD Arena in a positive manner. It’s good we got the win for them and it’s good we got the win heading into March (and the CAA Tourney).”

College of Charleston Senior Forward Jarrell Brantley

On Senior Day …

“It’s bittersweet. I’m grateful though. I’ve had a lot of great memories here and had some tough ones, too. Charleston has allowed me to grow in an amazing way. I will always be grateful for it. It’s a good feeling that this would be the last game (a win against UNCW). I’ve come so far, but at the same time, it’s a little tough knowing that I never will able to put that uniform on or give my all for our team.”