Four Players Score in Double Figures, Win Streak Now at Five Games,
By: Jeff Walker, Sports Writer
Trailing by one point (34-33) at intermission, the College of Charleston men's basketball team explode for 50 second half point en route to an 83-75 win over Delaware Thursday night. After winning four straight at home the Cougars now extend their streak to five with the road victory over the Blue Hens. In claiming a season sweep over Delaware, CofC now hold a two game lead over Delaware and Drexel heading into the final weeks of the regular season. Charleston continues their two game road trip at Drexel on Saturday.
CofC improve to 19-6 overall and 8-4 in the Colonial Athletic Association. Grant Riller lead four players in double figures for the Cougars, with the junior guard finishing with a game best 20 points. Zep Jasper continued his stellar play coming off the bench, making 3 of 4 from long range for 14 points. Brevin Galloway and Jarrell Brantley added 13 and 12 points respectively.
Although there were many bright spots especially in the second 20 minute of play, the two stats that stood out are the fact the Cougars shot 52% from beyond the arc, making good on 11 of 21 as a team, and scored 34 points in the paint.
CofC Head Coach Earl Grant said the team took advantages where they could. “We had a size advantage and we wanted to make sure we could try to exploit that. They (Delaware) play four guards. I felt like our four-man would have an opportunity to post some. They only wanted to play (Eric) Carter at the five, so I thought we could try to attack him and throw the ball inside to Nick (Harris). Nick did a good job and he got two-or-three baskets early to get us going. Then the game started to open up for us.”
The home team controlled the tempo and the scoring for most of the first half, building a ten point margin (24-14) after a long range bomb by Matt Veretto with 9:23 remaining to play. But the Cougars found their mojo getting behind a 19-10 run, including four 3-pointers to close the gap to one possession heading into the locker room.
CofC carried the same momentum with them after the break. The Cougars found themselves up 48-38 less than four minutes into the second half, extending the lead to 15 points (61-46) midway thru the period. Charleston enjoyed the biggest lead (70-54) after Riller made one of two foul shots at the 5:56 mark. A pair of free throws from Delaware's Kevin Anderson cut the lead to six points with 23 seconds to play, with Riller adding two from the line in the closing seconds for the eight point margin of victory.
Just a freshman Jasper has added a good bit of offense over the past several contests, something hes' becoming comfortable with. “My shooting has been different. I talked to Coach Q (Quinton Ferrell) about it. They tell me to be more aggressive, because I can score the ball, too. They want me to be more aggressive at times and I’ve been turning it on the last two games.”
Jasper adds he's not afraid to take the shot from beyond the arc even under pressure. “They (teams) don’t look for me to shoot it, because I’m not a scorer (more of a defender). I know I can score. When it hits my hands, I know it’s going in even when the shot clock is going down late.”
The Cougars hope to extend their current winning streak as their road trip carries over into the weekend with a stop at Drexel (12-13, 6-6 CAA) for a much-anticipated rematch on Saturday, with tip off at 4pm.