Riller Leads Four Cougars In Double Figures
By: Jeff Walker, Sports Writer
Grant Riller scored a game high 22 points, leading four College of Charleston men’s basketball players in double figures, as CofC down Drexel 76-65 in the Cougars first game in Colonial Athletic Association play for the 2019-20 season. With the win Charleston improve to 7-6 overall, extending their winning streak to two games. Drexel fall to 0-1 in the CAA and 7-7 on the season.
Brevin Galloway who appears to being getting better as the season progresses made 4 of 7 from beyond the arc for 16 points. Another bright spot for the Cougars has been the play of big man Sam Miller who shot lots out, making 5 of 6 from the field including all three attempts from long range, finishing with 13 points. Zep Jasper added two from downtown for 12 points.
CofC Head Coach Earl Grant isn’t surprised how Riller took charge during the contest. “If there is anybody on our team that knows our system and our principles, and knows what it means when we say Charleston Basketball, it’s Grant Riller. That charge he took late in the game, in the guts of the game, that’s the epitome of the kind of player he is. That was a big-time play for him. To rotate over and take that charge. I think that’s unbelievable for him. That says a lot about his character and that he wants to win.”
The Dragons would jump out to a 12-5 lead over the Cougars inside the first four minutes of play. Midway thru the opening period a layup by Miller gave CofC a 21-18 lead. An 8-2 run capped off by a jump shot by Riller gave Charleston a nine point advantage with eight minutes showing. The teams would exchange baskets sending the Cougars into the break up 36-27 at the half.
Charleston maintained the lead in the second half, going up by as many as 16 points with just under eight minutes left in the ball game. But the home team would not give up, scoring nine straight to get within three possessions. The Dragons would cut it to six (66-60) on a 3-pointer by Matey Juric with 2:49 showing. Moments later Jaylen McManus would answer from long range to help propel CofC to victory.
Over the 13 games the Cougars have played this season, beating Drexel on their home court was their best overall offensive outing, finishing the contest shooting 53.7% from the field, while making good on 11 of 20 (55%) from long range.
Given the shorter time to prepare due to the holidays and travelling to Philadelphia, Grant was elated the way his players stepped up. “Obviously, I’m proud of our guys after a long four-day break. We only had two days to get ready for this game. We came out with a game plan and executed it. Give the guys credit. They had to travel yesterday, followed the game plan and found a way to win the game.”
Charleston continues its conference-opening weekend road swing at Delaware on Monday, Dec. 30 at 7 p.m. (ET) in Newark, Del.
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