The College of Charleston men’s basketball team was back in action on Tuesday night, when they squared off against Rhode Island. The Cougars won the home game 66-55.
The game started off in a tug-o-war match between URI and the College as each team made it difficult for the other to score.
URI struggled to score in the first half, going 8-35 from the field.
Rhode Island’s defense made life hard on Charleston lead guard Grant Riller in the first half, limiting the preseason CAA 1st-teamer to just 2 points in that time.
Despite those struggles, the College’s offense found contributions elsewhere to build up their 12-point halftime cushion.
After the opening period of play, the score sat at 31-19.
Rhode Island was able to get things going in the second half, outscoring the Cougars by a point in the period.
With just five minutes left in the game, Rhode Island brought the deficit down to six. However, their effort was not strong enough as the College of Charleston made enough key stops down the stretch to close out the game.
Defense was the key to this victory for the Cougars as they controlled the boards and caused many missed shots.
The Cougars grabbed 32 defensive rebounds and held Rhode Island to 34% from the field.
Senior Nick Harris led the game in blocks with two and snagged six rebounds.
Rhode Island’s Cyril Langevine scored a game-high 18 points and led the game in rebounds, with 10.
Junior Grant Riller may have been the second highest scorer for the squad, but his all-around game is what sealed the deal for the Cougars. Riller found his rhythm in the second half, where he scored 12 of his 14 total points. Riller also snagged four rebounds to go along with his game-high six assists.
Jarrell Brantley led the team in scoring and rebounds, with 17 and eight, respectively.
When asked about how he was able to lead the team as the game got tight down the stretch, Brantley said ” That’s honestly been one of the tougher things because last year we had so many guys considered leaders and just older. Now, they’re going to rely on me a lot more. Not just to score or play defense, but to be vocal and look to me to make the right plays and reads.”
This win brings the Cougars home win streak to 18.
The Cougars’ next game is against Big 12 opponent, Oklahoma State where they will begin their four-game road stint. This game will be one of the toughest for the Cougars, as they will be battle tested against a notable Division 1 team.
This coming game will be our last look at the Cougars before they take the court for the 2018 Advocare Invitational down in Orlando, FL.