WASHINGTON, D.C. – Grant Riller registered a game-high 26 points and was one of three players in double figures with a game-high 26 points as fourth-seeded College of Charleston fell short to fifth-seeded Delaware, 79-67, in the quarterfinals of the 2020 Hercules Tires Colonial Athletic Association Men’s Basketball Championship on Sunday at the Entertainment & Sports Arena.
It was both team’s second meeting in a little over a week after the Cougars (17-14) swept the regular-season series with an 80-71 home victory on Feb. 27 at TD Arena.
The Blue Hens (22-10) advanced to tomorrow’s semifinals where they will to face top-seeded and regular-season champion Hofstra.
Riller scored 19 of his points in the second half as Charleston tried to overcome a 32-27 halftime deficit to UD. The three-time All-CAA First Team selection closed out his storied career at The College as the program’s second all-time leading scorer and CAA’s third all-time leading scorer with 2,474 career points.
CAA All-Defensive Team member Brevin Galloway scored 14 points going 4-for-7 from three-point range when the Cougars’ needed big-time baskets to cut Delaware’s lead throughout the ballgame. Zep Jasper added 13.
Delaware extended its lead to 41-30 when Dylan Painter scored on a layup and sank 1-of-2 free throws. He ended the night with 14 points, while Nate Darling had a team-high 25. Justyn Mutts turned in a double-double performance with 12 points and game-high 11 rebounds.
Riller’s 3-pointer with 12:18 left in regulation brought Charleston within four, 47-43, before the Blue Hens pulled away for good.
• College of Charleston started Zep Jasper, Grant Riller, Brevin Galloway, Jaylen McManus and Sam Miller (11-8).
• The Blue Hens were able to end a nine-game losing streak in the all-time series with College of Charleston dating back to the 2015-16 season. It was just the second time both teams met in CAA postseason tournament play and they are now even in those meetings (2016 in Baltimore and 2020 in Washington, D.C.).
• The Cougars are now 35-20 (.636) all-time in conference tournament play since gaining NCAA Division I status in 1991-92. They are 8-6 all-time as members of the Colonial and 15-7 all-time in quarterfinal games (TAAC, Southern Conference and CAA combined).
• Grant Riller closed out his career with a game-high 26 points, four assists and three steals against Delaware in the CAA Quarterfinals. It marked his 18th 20-point game of the season. Riller finished as CofC’s second all-time leading scorer with 2,474 career points, which is also third all-time in the CAA’s record books behind David Robinson of Navy and Charles Jenkins of Hofstra.
• For the 19th time this season, Brevin Galloway reached double figures in scoring with 14 points on 4-7 shooting from beyond the arc against Delaware.
• Zep Jasper also tied his season high for points (13) on a career-high tying 4-for-6 performance from behind the three-point line versus Delaware. It marked his 13th double-figure scoring game of the season and 19th of his career.
College of Charleston Head Coach Earl Grant
On the game …
“I thought our guys played really hard. We came up short tonight. I thought we were able to take some things away from Delaware in the past. Today, they (Delaware) got loose for some shots and they made them. Give them credit. They did some good things. But, I’m really happy that our guys were able to play with good spirit and never quit. We just didn’t have an answer for some of their shots they made down the stretch, when we cut it down to six and almost down to four. We just couldn’t get any closer than that.”
On the ups-and-downs of the season …
“We had a lot of good moments this season and we had a lot of tough moments. That’s college basketball. I think about 30 teams have great years and about 30-to-50 have awful years. Some teams are in-between. I think we’ve been in-between. We had our opportunities. We played a lot of young guys. We weren’t able to find a way to get over the hump in some of those close games. I thought the guys who are sitting next to me (Grant Riller and Brevin Galloway) have been pretty consistent all year. Certainly Grant (Riller) carrying a heavy load. Every night getting 25-or-27 points, having to play defense, taking charges and leading. I thought he carried a heavy burden. I’m really pleased with Brevin Galloway’s development and what he has been able to do this year. Both of them have bright futures moving forward. Grant will play basketball after he leaves here and Brevin will have a great opportunity to take the next step in his game.”
On what Grant Riller has meant to him and the program …
“As a first-time head coach getting the job at 36 years old. It’s September the 2nd and my first call was September the 3rd. Pretty much three weeks to a month later, he said he’s coming. He means a lot to me. I’ll have his back for the next 40 years, just because he poured a lot into this program. He’s leaving the program better than where he found it. He has been very loyal and hardworking. I look forward to fighting for him now, to see what’s next, because there are a lot of exciting things coming up. That’s a big responsibility for myself and my staff to make sure he gets what he deserves.”
College of Charleston Senior Guard Grant Riller
On his last college game …
“Very emotional. I was kind of dreading this moment the whole season. The whole year, I was trying to make sure I took it day-to-day. Enjoy my last days with my teammates. I’m happy I was able to come back for a fifth year and do it all over again. It’s sad it had to end like this, but I’m happy I came back.”
College of Charleston Junior Guard Brevin Galloway
On his thoughts about next season and leading the team as a senior …