Galloway & Miller Have Career Bests For Cougars, VCU Up Next For CofC
Jeff Walker, Sports Writer
Coming off a decisive win over Coker University last Sunday the College of Charleston men's basketball team were hoping to pick up another 'W' in the Commonwealth of Virginia as they visited the Richmond Spiders Saturday afternoon. The Spiders entered the contest with a perfect 6-0 mark at the Robins Center, hoping to stay undefeated.
When it was all said and done Richmond kept their home winning streak intact downing Charleston 78-71. The Spiders improve to 9-1 on the year with the Cougars falling to .500 after ten games (5-5) on the season.
One day removed from his 22nd birthday, CofC's Brevin Galloway matched that number as he lead all scorers with a career best 22 points, making good on 10 of 17 from the floor including two from long range. Charleston's leading scorer Grant Riller got off to a slow start but added 17 second half points to finish with 21. Riller now becomes the third player in Cougar history to score over 2000 points at the College of Charleston. Coming in off the bench Sam Miller turned in his best performance in a Cougar uniform as well, draining three from long range to finish with 16 points.
After Riller failed to find his rhythm in the first half, CofC Head Coach Grant said he changed some things up after intermission. "Richmond really had a good scheme. They really worked hard to push us and catch us. What I did was move him (Grant Riller)to the point guard from the wing. I put him at the head of the ball. I thought he did a good job of making good decisions at the rim and looking for his teammates."
Grant was pleased with how Miller stood out as well. "I thought Sam Miller came in and gave us a great lift by making some shots and scoring aroundthe basket. That was the only adjustment we made (in the second half) was put the ball in Grant's hand."
Galloway took some early heat off Cougar leading scorer Grant Riller, as he pumped in the first 10 points for Charleston. When Riller drove the lane with a little more than four minutes gone in the game, CofC was up 12-4 at the first media time out. But nine straight by Nick Sherod capped off by a layup by Grant Golden gave the Spiders their first lead 17-16 midway thru the opening period.
After nearly a four minute drought from the field, Galloway drove the baseline making it 25-24 in favor of the home team. An 8-0 run in the final minutes helped Richmond take a 39-31 lead into the locker room. Riller closed out the first half with a lay up giving him four points at the break.
CofC came out with some early gusto, getting behind an 8-2 including four from Galloway as they trailed 41-39 after just a few minutes gone by. Galloway's 20th point cut the lead to a two possession contest with under 15 minutes to play. At the midway point both teams added 20 points to their totals, leaving the Cougars trailing 59-51 with 10 minutes on the clock.
The Cougars cut it to two possessions on several occasions but never could regain the lead. A pair from the free throw line, followed by a fast break layup, both by Riller cut the margin to five points. Although Richmond didn't have that many trips to the foul line, they did make 7 of 9 from the charity stripe including four straight inside the final 30 seconds to keep CofC at a distance. Four players hit for double figures for the Spiders, with Blake Francis leading the way with 20. Golden was 8 of 11 from the floor for 17 points. Nathan Cayo and Andre Gustavson adding 11 and 10 points respectively.
The final stats were fairly close except Richmond shot better from the field, and made a few more from beyond the arc. Coach Grant said the Spiders took advantage of the Cougars few miscues. "Richmond is a good team. I give them credit. Every time we made a mistake those guys made us pay."
With many seasoned players on the Richmond squad, Coach Grant praised their effort. "They executed and they were very poised. They looked like a veteran team. Coach (Mooney) is doing a great job with the program. It was one ofthe more challenging games I've coached in. In terms of a team that's really got purpose about what they are trying to do. Kudos to the Spiders."
CofC will return home for its final two non-conference tilts next week that kicks off with another Atlantic 10 Conference power in VCU (7-2) on Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. (ET) at TD Arena. Tickets can still be purchased to the game by calling (843) 953-COFC or going online at: www.CofCSports.com/tickets