Defense and Threes Pushes Furman Past Cougars

Defense and Threes Pushes Furman Past Cougars
For the second-straight game, junior guard Zep Jasper led College of Charleston in the scoring column, but it was not enough as former Southern Conference rival Furman came away with an 81-57 road win on Saturday at TD Arena. (Source: College of Charleston Basketball)

CHARLESTON, S.C. – For the second-straight game, junior guard Zep Jasper led College of Charleston in the scoring column, but it was not enough as former Southern Conference rival Furman came away with an 81-57 road win on Saturday at TD Arena.

VIDEO: Defense and Threes Pushes Furman Past Cougars

The Paladins (4-0), ranked No. 2 in this week’s CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 Poll, snapped a four-game losing streak in the all-time series with sharpshooting from long range – draining 16 three-pointers in the contest including 11 in the first half of play.

They led 47-23 at halftime. The Cougars (1-2) went on an 8-0 run in the middle of the second half behind a big 3-pointer from Jasper.

He and redshirt freshman forward Dontavius King (11 points) were the only players in double figures. Senior big man Osinachi Smart added nine points and five rebounds.

Three players scored in double figures for Furman including a game-high 26 points from Mike Bothwell and a near triple-double performance from Jalen Slawson with 16 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.

It was a first-time meeting between the two Palmetto State schools since the 2014-15 season.

The home-and-home series was created after both teams’ games against No. 19-ranked Richmond were cancelled this week. The Cougars will next host Marshall (2-0) on Wednesday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. (ET) at TD Arena.

POSTGAME NOTES

· College of Charleston went with the starting five of Zep Jasper, Payton Willis, Brevin Galloway, Lorenzo Edwards and Osinachi Smart. Galloway returned to the lineup after missing the Limestone game due to illness (stomach bug).

· The all-time series is now tied at 42-42 between Furman and College of Charleston. The Paladins ended a four-game losing skid in the series having last won at TD Arena (69-63) on Jan. 26, 2012.· For the second-straight game, Zep Jasper was the team’s leading scorer with 12 points including two 3-pointers against Furman.

· Dontavius King was also in double figures for the second-straight contest with 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting from the field versus Furman. He also grabbed a team-high six of Charleston’s 43 rebounds in the game.

· The Cougars won the battle of the boards in back-to-back games, 43-30.

POSTGAME QUOTES

College of Charleston Head Coach Earl Grant On the loss …

”Furman is really good. You have to give them credit. I don’t know if it was wake-up call that we needed. One was an ACC team (North Carolina) and one was a NCAA Division II team (Limestone). We weren’t expecting to play today. There are a lot of variables that go into it. I think we are a lot better team than the way we played today. But, we have the utmost respect for Furman. They played today. They made 11 threes at the half. It was very uncharacteristic for us to give up that many threes in a game. They had a great performance and we weren’t at the top of the game.”

On Furman’s hot start from long range …

”They (Furman) had 11 threes in the first half. They shot it better than they’ve shot it before. I think it has to do with the way they were more emotionally-charged and understanding what this game meant than maybe my guys did. I give them credit. That was very impressive with the way they approached the game. We have to learn from it and continue to grow.”

College of Charleston Redshirt Freshman Forward Dontavius KingOn the loss and Furman’s defense …

”They (Furman) are a very good team. They just played very hard (on defense) and push on certain catches that we are not used to. We were supposed to play Richmond on Wednesday and we played Furman today. We just have things to work on to continue to get better.”

On moving on to the next game against Marshall …

”We have to just play to our standards. We have to work harder on defense, too. We are a defensive team. We learned that we have to come together as a team. We can’t always go one-on-one. If we play harder the next time, the outcome will be better.”