Cougars & John Meeks Bounce Back After Disappointing Loss on Thursday
By: Jeff Walker, Sportswriter
After a disappointing last minute lose (76-73) to Hofstra on Thursday night where senior forward John Meeks missed two free throws in the final seconds that would have potentially secured the win or sent the game into overtime, the College of Charleston men’s basketball team and Meeks needed a boost. They got just that on Saturday afternoon as they went on an offensive drive late, downing visiting Northeastern 81-63 at TD Arena.
Not to be outdone, Meeks led all scorers finishing with a game high 22 points, including one from beyond the arc, while making good on 3 of 3 from the line. Brenden Tucker continues to impress off the bench, making 5 of 11 with one 3-pointer for 14 points. After a somber night on Thursday Reyne Smith rebounded with 12 points including 2 of 3 from downtown. Dimitrius Underwood chipped in 10 points as CofC improve to 3-5 in the CAA and 11-9 overall.
The game went back and forth for most of the first half. Ben Burnham had a quick five points as CofC lead 8-4 after just a minute and a half into the contest. Burnham would finish with seven points overall. Raekwon Horton’s only bucket on the afternoon for Charleston tied the game at 12 all with just over 15 minutes left in the half.
It remained pretty much a one possession for the remainder of the opening period. When the Huskie’s Nikola Djogo hit a short jumper with 30 seconds on the clock the visitors trailed 41-39 at intermission. While both teams were on the mark in the first 20 minutes of play, Northeastern managed to make 14 of 23 from the floor for 61 percent, which kept them within striking distance.
It was a different story after the break. The offense was lackluster coming out of the locker room. After eight minutes expired in the second half CofC had only added another 11 points to their total, with Northeastern chipping in eight. Charleston held a two-possession lead for seven minutes until Djogo hit from long range to make it 62-58 in favor of the home team. 90 seconds later two free throws from Meeks put CofC up 11 (69-58) as they were on cruise control. They would close the contest out with an impressive 19-5 run, sending the Huskies home with their 11th straight loss.
Northeastern just fell apart late in the contest, making only 7 of 23 shots in the second 20 minutes of play, adding just 1 of 9 from 3-point land. Djogo paced the Huskies going 5 of 8 from the floor including 3 of 4 from outside the arc for 17 points. His teammate Shaquille Walters would finish with 13 points. Northeastern Chris Doherty hauled in a game best nine rebounds. The Huskies fall to 6-15 overall and 0-10 in the CAA.
The Cougars hit the road to face William & Mary and Elon on a two-game swing next Thursday and Saturday. Tip-off vs. William & Mary on Feb. 3 is set for 7 p.m. on FloSports. Charleston continues a three straight road games with a visit to UNCW on Saturday Feb 12th. The next CofC home game is on Monday Feb 14th. Fans no doubt will bring the love!
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