Tucker Has Career Best 16 Pts. Entire Team Score As Galloway Exits After Injury
By: Jeff Walker, Sports Writer
Opening the season 1-3 including back to back losses at home, the College of Charleston men's basketball team and their fans were eager for a win. After taking it on the chin the past couple of contests, the Cougars put an end to a two game skid, by downing winless South Carolina State 90-63 Friday night at TD Arena.
It was a well balanced attack for CofC, with the Cougars picking up 38 points in the paint. Five Cougars scored in double figures including four starters. All the stats went CofC's way. Charleston shot lights out from the charity stripe, making 25 of 26 from the foul line. College won the battle on the boards as well, out-rebounding State 39 to 25.
With Brevin Galloway exiting the game in the first half due to an injury, Brenden Tucker came in off the bench to score a career best 16 points for the Cougars. The sophomore guard turned in a perfect performance, going 5 off 5 from the floor including two from long range, adding 4 of 4 from the foul line.
Tucker said coming in off the bench and stepping up is something Grant stresses. "Coach always talks about 'next man up.' We knew people had to step-up. Get in the game. Fortunately, we did and we came out with the W."
Less than 48 hours after having a career best 27 against Marshall, senior starter Galloway, added 13 points before an injury. Zep Jasper, Payton Willis, and Dontavius King chipped in 12, 11, and 10 points respectively. SC State was lead by Floyd Rideau Jr. who had a game high tying 16 points
CofC Head Coach Earl Grant said Galloway will be looked at over the weekend. "The doctors will evaluate him tonight. He hasn't had a MRI. Certainly, it did not look good. We will know more later tonight or tomorrow (Saturday) morning. He will have it looked at and we will know more from there."
Grant added Galloway's injury is just part of the uncertainty taking place in 2020 and in sports. "This season is a challenging season. It's one of those things we would have to adjust to and keep moving forward. Certainly, he is a special player and special person. He has invested a lot into our program."
Although CofC was favored to win, SC State was a bit disadvantaged with two of their best players sidelined. The Bulldogs held their own for much of the first half, before heading into the locker room trailing by 11 points at the break.
Despite a slow start Charleston found their mojo and controlled the tempo of the game, maintaining the lead thru out the first 20 minutes of play. SC State kept close early on, down just 16-12 near the midway point. A few minutes later an old fashioned three point play (layup & FT) by Jasper gave CofC a double digit lead (25-13) with 9:34 on the first half clock. An 18-10 run by the visitors brought the contest to 35-31 in favor of Charleston before the Cougars closed out the half with their own 9-2 run, heading into the locker room up 44-33 at the break.
The Cougars continued their offensive dominance after intermission, going up by 20 point lead (67-47) on a 3-point shot by Tucker with 11:19 left to play. CofC would maintain a 20 plus point advantage for the remainder of the contest. With the game in hand, several of Charleston's bench got much needed playing time, with every player on the home team scoring at least two points or more.
The Cougars will take the next week off to focus on final exams and return to action against Western Carolina on Friday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. (ET) at TD Arena.