This past Saturday, the College of Charleston Men’s Basketball team hosted the University of North Carolina Wilmington in their annual Senior Night game. Seniors Nick Harris, Jarrell Brantley, Jermaine Blackmon and Marquise Pointer were honored before the opening tip, along with the team’s senior managers, senior members of the pep band and cheer squad. Coach Earl Grant decided to honor his elder statesmen, slotting every senior in the starting lineup.
The Cougars went on to defeat the UNCW Seahawks in a tightly-contested 70-61 outing.
The Cougars got off to a bit of a slow start as it took them nearly 2 minutes to score their first basket. After that, the Cougars were on a roll, going on a 10-2 run to start the game. The College of Charleston controlled the game in the first half, where at one point they led against the Seahawks by as much as 12.
The Cougars held a 39-30 lead at the half.
UNCW made a comeback in the 2nd half, where they tied the game twice. The Seahawks defense stifled the Cougars, holding them to 6 points in 10 minutes. The Seahawks played a tough game, making the Cougars work for their victory.
A key block by Jarrell Brantley down the stretch solidified the win for the Cougars.
Senior forward Jarrell Brantley notched his final double-double at TD Arena, with a game high 23 points and 10 rebounds. He also chipped in 4 assists and 3 blocks.
When asked about his time at the College of Charleston, Brantley said: “It’s bittersweet. I’m grateful though. I’ve had a lot of great memories here, I’ve had some tough ones too. I think Charleston has allowed me to grow in an amazing way and I will always be grateful for it. It’s a good feeling. That will be my last game knowing that I’ve come this far but at the same time its a little tough. Knowing I’ll never be able to put that uniform on and give my all to that team.”
Junior Grant Riller scored 22 points and dished out 2 assists. Fellow senior Marquise Pointer scored 5 points and had 5 assists in his last game at TD Arena.
This game was the last game of the regular season for the Cougars. They finish the season with a 23-8 record, going 12-6 in conference play.
With this win, the College secured the 3rd seed in the CAA tournament.
When Coach Grant was asked about what the focus was for the upcoming tournament, he replied: “The biggest thing is just making sure we tighten up the screws on everything that we do. Defensively making sure our principles and our standards, we’re playing to our standards the best we can in practice. Offensively, continue to find ways to be sharp and play with better pace. Be able to attack different schemes, be prepared for just about anything you may see in the tournament. But really, the most important thing is to make sure we’re fresh. Fresh, excited and we’re in good shape cause you got to go there and play three games in three days.”
Their first game in the CAA tournament will be against Drexel University on Sunday, March 10 at 7:00 PM in front of the home crowd at the North Charleston Coliseum. The winner of the CAA tournament will go on to play in the NCAA tournament later this month.