Cougars’ Battle With Wake Forest Falls Short In Opening Round Of Wooden Legacy

Cougars’ Battle With Wake Forest Falls Short In Opening Round Of Wooden Legacy
The College of Charleston falls to 3-3 on the season with a loss to Wake Forest on Thanksgiving Day (Source: CofC Athletics)

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Four players scored in double figures including a season-high 13 points from Zep Jasper as College of Charleston battled Wake Forest, but fell short, 65-56, in the opening round of the Wooden Legacy held on Thanksgiving Day at Anaheim Arena.

The Cougars (3-3) will face Providence (4-3) in the consolation semifinals tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. (ET) / 1:30 p.m. (PT). The game will be televised live nationally on ESPNU.

Wake Forest pushed a two-point lead at halftime to 10 points with 14:25 remaining in regulation, 43-34, despite only shooting 35.8 percent from the field against Charleston’s defense.

CofC cut the deficit down to 56-53 on a 3-pointer by Jasper with 3:29 left to go, before the Demon Deacons (4-2) went on a 7-0 run to push the lead back to double digits in the closing minute of the game.

Brevin Galloway and Jaylen McManus each scored 10 points, while Grant Riller added 11 for the Cougars.

Olivier Sarr recorded a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds as Wake Forest won its fourth-straight game in the all-time series with CofC and moved on to tomorrow’s semifinals against Long Beach State (3-4).

POSTGAME NOTES

• For the sixth time this season, College of Charleston went with the starting five of Zep Jasper, Grant Riller, Brevin Galloway, Jaylen McManus and Osinachi Smart (3-3).

• Wake Forest remains an undefeated 4-0 in the all-time series with College of Charleston. It was the second time both programs met in an early-season tournament next to the 2016 ESPN Charleston Classic.

• Zep Jasper recorded a season-high 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field including 3-of-4 from long range against Wake Forest. It marked his eighth double-figure scoring game of his career and second of the season. He also dished out a season-best three assists.

• Brevin Galloway extended his double-digit scoring streak to three-consecutive games with 10 points versus the Demon Deacons.

• Jaylen McManus also registered 10 points against Wake Forest and has now scored in double figures in four of the team’s last five games.

• Grant Riller turned in 11 points versus the Demon Deacons and is now tied for third all-time in career scoring with 2019 NBA Draft second-round pick Jarrell Brantley (2015-19), who tallied 1,914 career points over the course of his four-year career.

• The CofC defense held Wake Forest to just 35.8 percent shooting from the field (19-of-53) – the second-lowest percentage by an opponent this season next to 35.7 percent (20-of-56) versus USC Upstate on Nov. 5.

POSTGAME QUOTES

College of Charleston Head Coach Earl Grant

On the game …

“Give Wake Forest credit. I thought they did a great job of defending some of our actions. Certainly, the free throw shooting (was a difference in the game). They beat us +13 on the free throw line. We needed to play a little bit better. We cut it to three points with about two and a half minutes to go. We had a couple of opportunities to execute and get that lead a little closer. They made the stops and forced us to take a couple of tough shots. We couldn’t get closer than three.”

On Wake Forest’s defense on Grant Riller …

“They trapped some ball screens early. They switched some and put a bigger guy on him. He was aggressive, but they did a good job of squeezing him with the double team and ball screen.”

On the difference on the glass …

“We were guarding them. I told the guys, ‘if you hold someone to 35 percent, that’s top of the country.’ That’s a high number – 35 field-goal percentage defense. But, the other part of it was, when you make them miss, you have to rebound the first miss. We didn’t do a good job of boxing out and we have to learn from it. Certainly, we will have to do it tomorrow, if we want to find success in that game (against Providence).”