The #3 seed College of Charleston Men’s Basketball team faced off against #2 seed Northeastern University in the Semifinals of the CAA Tournament on Monday night. Going into the game, the teams both had a road win against each other during the regular season.
The Cougars offense had a hard time warming up, as they went 2-7 from the field to start the game. Despite the slow start, Charleston was able to claim the lead with 10:39 left to play in the half. This lead would grow to as much as 9.
The College of Charleston hustled on defense, causing Northeastern to turn the ball over 6 times in the half. Northeastern controlled the boards, grabbing 20 rebounds in the first half. After an outrageous 10 lead changes, the Northeastern Huskies regained the lead with a 35-33 edge over the Cougars.
Northeastern got off to a quick 39-35 lead to start the second half. The opposing defense managed to hold junior guard Grant Riller scoreless for 14 minutes.
Riller was in the middle of an unusually bad shooting night as he only went 2-6 in the half, and 5-13 for the game. He finished with just 10 points, well below his season average of 21.9 ppg.
Northeastern continued to control the boards, while also making the best out of their opportunities at the line. With the game winding down, the Huskies tied the ball game up at 63-63 with 3:37 left to play. But as soon as Northeastern reclaimed the lead from College of Charleston, there was no looking back.
Down 3 with just 3 seconds to go, senior guard Marquise Pointer managed to draw a foul on a 3 point attempt and went to the line with the chance to tie the ball game up.
Pointer sunk the first free throw but missed the second. To give the team one last chance at victory, Pointer tried to intentionally miss off the rim but instead hit nothing but net. The Cougars intentionally fouled Northeastern, but that didn’t work as the Huskies defeated the Cougars, 70-67.
This rematch of last year’s CAA Championship game between the College of Charleston and Northeastern certainly did not disappoint. Despite getting heavily out-rebounded and failing to consistently draw fouls, the College managed to keep the game close with Northeastern.
There were 16 lead changes in the game.
Senior forward Jarrell Brantley ended his College of Charleston career with an 18 point and 10 rebound double-double.
A few of the players that will return next season made an impact alongside their senior counterparts. Freshman guard Zep Jasper stepped up big, going 3-3 from deep. Sophomore guard Brevin Galloway scored 12 points, going 2-4 from deep.
The #2 seed Northeastern Huskies will face off against the #1 seed Hofstra Pride in the CAA Championship Tournament game. The winner will not only be crowned the CAA Champions but will also become one of the 64 teams in the NCAA Championship Tournament.