CHARLESTON, S.C. – Preseason Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year Grant Riller scored 28 points with eight rebounds and Sam Miller registered career-high-tying 16 points and nine rebounds as College of Charleston beat Towson, 81-69, on Thursday night at TD Arena.
The Cougars (9-6, 3-0 CAA) won their fourth straight and are now off to a 3-0 CAA start for the first time since 2016-17 under head coach Earl Grant.
Zep Jasper made all 10 of his free throw attempts and scored 12 points for the Cougars, who committed a season-low two turnovers in the ballgame. It was also the team’s second-highest scoring output of the season to which Brevin Galloway and Jaylen McManus added 11 and 10 to respectively.
Defensively, CofC held Towson to nearly a 3-minute and 30-second stretch without a basket in the first half and led 35-29 at halftime.
The Tigers (6-9, 0-3 CAA), who dropped their third-straight league game, tied the ballgame up after an 8-2 run to start the second half of play. Nakye Sanders was the team’s leading scorer and rebounder with a 20-point and 11-rebound double-double in the loss.
The Cougars were lethal behind the arc drilling six of their eight 3-pointers on the night to regain the lead. Galloway and Riller each with three.
Charleston prepares for a quick turnaround as it plays host to James Madison (8-6, 1-2 CAA) on Saturday, Jan. 4 at 4 p.m. (ET) at TD Arena. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (843) 953-COFC or online at: www.CofCSports.com/tickets
• For the fifth-straight contest, College of Charleston went with the starting five of Zep Jasper, Grant Riller, Brevin Galloway, Jaylen McManus and Sam Miller (4-1).
• With the win, College of Charleston now leads 10-7 in the all-time series with Towson. The Cougars have won three-straight games in the series and five straight when playing the Tigers at home at TD Arena.
• Grant Riller notched a game-high 28 points on a season-tying nine makes from the field against Towson. He was one rebound show of a double-double with eight rebounds. Riller extended his double-digit scoring streak to 43-consecutive games and has now tabulated 2,120 career points to date. It was also his 11th 20-point game of the season.
• Sam Miller was also shy of a double-double performance with a career-high tying 16 points and team-high nine rebounds versus Towson. He also added two blocked shots against the Tigers and opened the game with the team’s first bucket for the third-straight contest.
• Brevin Galloway drained a trio of 3-pointers and turned in 11 points with three assists versus the Tigers. He extended his double-digit scoring streak to three-straight games.
• Zep Jasper shot a career-best 10-for-10 from the free throw line and ended the night with 12 points versus Towson. It marked his sixth game in double figures this season.
• Jaylen McManus reached double figures with 10 points against Towson. It was the eighth of the season and 13th of his career.
• The Cougars dished out 10 assists with a season-low two turnovers against Towson. It was the team’s ninth time this season to share the ball more than 10 times in a contest.
• For just the second time this season, CofC had five players score in double figures in the same ballgame next to the team’s road win at Marshall on Nov. 19.
• Towson was the fourth-straight opponent to be held in the 60s and the third-straight opponent the Cougars defeated by more than 10 points (+12).
College of Charleston Head Coach Earl Grant
On the game …
“I really thought the guys played hard and played well. We played 40 minutes with only two turnovers and we had five guys in double figures. Pretty impressive. I thought our unselfishness and our ability to work together and be in concert with each other was great. Towson presents an unbelievable challenge the way they rebound the ball. I thought we got the stops that we needed and the crucial rebounds when we needed it.”
On combating Towson’s early second-half comeback …
“We got up six or eight points in the first half. We came out of the lockerroom, they (Towson) made a run and tied the game pretty quickly. We had to re-establish our defense. There was a patch where we only scored five or six points. It’s always going to start with the defense. Our offense started to come together. We started making more threes. In the first half, we made two threes, and in the second half, we made six. I thought we did a good job of getting it in the paint and kicking it out to our teammates, trying to be really unselfish.”
College of Charleston Senior Guard Grant Riller
On his slow start to the game …
“Early on, I was kind of playing out of character. Trying to force a lot of tough shots and I got into the paint instead of finding the open guys. I think once the game progressed, I kind of let it come to me a little bit. Shots started to fall and I took better shots.”
College of Charleston Senior Forward Sam Miller
On all five starters scoring in double figures and hitting threes …