Cougars Down Hofstra Behind Miller’s Game Winner

Cougars Down Hofstra Behind Miller’s Game Winner
Sam Miller's late basket lifted CofC to a 2 point win over Hofstra on Saturday (Source: CofC Athletics)

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Three players scored in double figures including late heroics by Sam Miller and Grant Riller to lead College of Charleston to a 69-67 victory over preseason Colonial Athletic Association favorite Hofstra on Saturday night at TD Arena.

VIDEO: Cougars Down Hofstra Behind Miller’s Game Winner

The Cougars (12-8, 6-2 CAA) snapped a two-game skid in conference play behind Miller’s game-high and career-high tying 20 points and Riller’s third career double-double performance with 17 points and 10 rebounds. It marked back-to-back 20-point outings for Miller, who had the game-winning layup with nine seconds remaining in regulation.

Following Miller’s layup, Riller stole the ball from Hofstra’s Jalen Ray to preserve the win. Zep Jasper also contributed in the scoring column for Charleston with a season-high tying 13 points.

The Pride (14-6, 5-2) had four players in double figures including 19 from Desure Buie and 16 from Tareq Coburn. They led 41-39 at halftime in an important conference matchup between the preseason No. 1 and No. 2 teams.

With the win, CofC swapped spots with Hofstra for second place in the league standings behind William & Mary (14-6, 6-1 CAA).

The Cougars will close out their three-game conference homestand with a White Out Game scheduled against archrival UNCW on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 4 p.m. (ET) at TD Arena. Tickets can be purchased for the game by calling (843) 953-COFC or online at: www.CofCSports.com/tickets

POSTGAME NOTES

• For the 10th-consecutive game, College of Charleston started Zep Jasper, Grant Riller, Brevin Galloway, Jaylen McManus and Sam Miller (7-3).

• With the win, College of Charleston takes a one-game lead, 7-6, in the all-time series with Hofstra. It was the Cougars’ first win in the series in the last 365 days after the Pride swept the regular-season series last season.

• Sam Miller recorded a game-high and career-high tying 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field including two 3-pointers and a perfect 4-for-4 performance from the free throw line. It was Miller’s sixth double-figure scoring game of the season and second career 20-point outing next to his 20 versus Northeastern on Jan. 16.

• Grant Riller registered his third career double-double including his triple-double against Northeastern with 17 points and a team-high 10 rebounds versus Hofstra. He also added five assists and three steals. Riller extended his double-digit scoring streak to 48-consecutive games and has now tabulated 2,228 career points to date.

• Zep Jasper turned in a season-high tying 13 points against the Pride. It marked his 14th career double-figure scoring game and eighth of the season.

• For the second-straight game, the Cougars outrebounded their opponent: Northeastern (+2) and Hofstra (+7).

• CofC drained seven of its eight 3-pointers in the ballgame in the first half of play.

• Defensively, the Cougars held the CAA’s top scoring offense (76.9 ppg) to its second-lowest scoring production in league games this season (67 points).

POSTGAME QUOTES

College of Charleston Head Coach Earl Grant

On the game …

“Our fans were unbelievable tonight. I’m really proud of our players for bouncing back after a tough no-sleep-in-two-days type of situation from a couple of days ago, where we won the game, but we lost (to Northeastern). I am happy we were able to respond. Anytime you go through a journey of a season like this, there are so many ups-and-downs. Bumps and bruises and great times along the way. The one thing you learn about your team is how they respond to all of the different things that have happened. To see us respond in 36 hours after having a lot of life taken out of us was a nice thing to see. It’s an 18-game race. I am glad we were able to stay in the race by performing well enough today to win the game.”

On the play of Sam Miller …

“He is bringing what we recruited him for. A big guy that was skilled, has good feel around the basket, can make shots and pass. He is starting to play to his potential. It’s nice to see him have confidence and do some good things. Certainly, he had a big shot there late. Give Brevin (Galloway) credit, he trusted him. He trusted his teammate and it was the right decision and that guy delivered. Sam also got a tip-in late and he’s playing really good basketball right now.”

College of Charleston Senior Guard Grant Riller

On the game …

“We lost a tough one on Thursday and we knew this one was going to be just as tough. This kind of showed the resilience of this team and the bounce back today, putting on the performance like we did. I’m just happy we got the win.”

College of Charleston Senior Forward Sam Miller

On turning in back-to-back 20-point games …

“Both games were very different fashions. On Thursday, I hooped a lot of threes, and tonight, I worked up that zone and got some rebounds and stuff. I just tried to play hard and make it happen for the team.”