Jasper Scores Game High 27 In Losing Effort For CofC
CofC Sports & CAA Sports Media w/ Jeff Walker, HSC Sports
Zep Jasper sparked a late second-half rally with 11-straight points as third-seeded College of Charleston came up short to sixth-seeded Drexel, 80-75, in the quarterfinals of the 2021 Hercules Tires Colonial Athletic Association Men’s Basketball Championship on Sunday night at Atlantic Union Bank Center.
Jasper, who willed the Cougars (9-10) to victory on several occasions throughout the COVID-plagued season, ended the night with a game-high 27 points on 10-of-21 shooting from the field and 5-for-10shooting from long range. The All-CAA Second Team and CAA All-Defensive Team selection also dished out three of the team’s 11 assists versus the Dragons (10-7).
During his 11 point offensive spree, Jasper said he was hoping to get the Cougars across the finish line. “I was just trying to help my team win. Try to fight back. Get back in the game.”
Payton Willis, a graduate senior, who transferred from Minnesota, recorded 22 points and four assists in his final collegiate game.
Down 12 points on several occasions in the second half, Charleston head coach Earl Grant thought the team were headed in the right direction late in the contest. “I felt like we had a chance to come back and win. But, every time we would cut it to four, they made a huge shot.”
Coach added that Drexel had offensive answers to the Cougar rallies. “They came up with timely shots. We changed defenses a few times. You have to credit them. There were some things we could have done better. But, they played a really good game.”
Drexel had four players in double figures and shot 55.4 percent from the floor (31-of-56). The Dragons avenged two close, regular-season losses to Charleston that were decided by a combined six points.
All-CAA First Team selection and Drexel’s leading scorer Camren Wynter tallied 16 points, but it was his teammate Zach Walton, who led the team in scoring with 17 and into the semifinals versus second-seeded Northeastern.
With what can only be described as a challenging season due to the pandemic, and games being cancelled, Jasper admits it all played a factor on how the team reacted. “I think the season, we had our ups-and-downs, because of COVID. It’s tough having two weeks off and then come back and play a game. This year has been hard for a lot of teams.
Faced with a long stretch of not playing competitive basketball took its toll. “We hadn’t played in two weeks, so I think it took a toll on us and it showed tonight.”
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