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Scott’s 3-Pointer Propels CofC to 74-72 Win Over Kent State 



Cougars Remain Unbeaten at Home, Improve to 6-1 Overall
By: Jeff Walker, Sports Writer

Still basking in the glow of their very first championship title in the ESPN Charleston Classic, downing VT 77-75 this past Sunday, the College of Charleston men’s basketball team put their 5-1 record to the test when they welcomed 5-0 Kent State to TD Arena on Wednesday night. Until travelling to the Holy City the Golden Flashes had yet to be tested, with their closest decision at 77-65 win over Portland.

Kent State would prove to be another tough battle for CofC as they were picked to finish first in the Mid-American Conference (MAC). Aside from a 102-86 loss to top ranked North Carolina the Cougars have battled six teams that participated in 2022 March Madness, being rewarded for their efforts by receiving votes in both the AP and USA Today polls. CofC are currently ranked #8 in the CollegeInsider. com Mid-Major Top 25 poll.

Despite only leading the contest on three separate occasions, for a total of 2 minutes and 38 seconds, with each lead no more than one possession, it was the final lead change that put the dagger in Kent State’s back. All the pregame hype lead to an awesome contest as Jaylon Scott drained a 3-pointer from the corner with 23 seconds remaining, sending Cougar fans away for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend with a 74-72 victory, keeping CofC’s perfect winning record at TD Arena intact at 6-0.

Charleston Head Coach Pat Kelsey said the back of Scott’s bubble gum card reflects more of a player known for his defense rather than offense, but his six points (two treys) came at crucial times, and helped CofC secure the victory.

“Jaylon Scott’s two threes were phenomenal. Man that kid works hard. I get here (TD Arena) early and the balls already bouncing. Him and Ryan Larson are always in the gym. A lot of our guys do that. But all the work he (Scott) put in pays off in big moments like that.”

Two treys and a deuce by Kent State found CofC trailing 8-0 after the first couple of minutes. An offensive rebound and put back by Babacar Faye allowed faithful fans to sit after three minutes elapsed. When Ryan Larson drained the first of his three from long range the home team trailed 13-7 with 15 minutes to play. Larson’s second missile still found the Cougars down 18-10 just under the 13 minute mark.

But Kent State was relentless. Behind five 3-pointers and lackluster shooting by Charleston, the Cougars would trail by 10 past the midway point. CofC managed to put together a 14-4 run that provided their lone lead (28-26) before in the opening period. The Golden Flashes closed out the first half with their own 14-8 run, taking a 40-36 advantage into the locker room at the break.

The two teams traded baskets for several minutes before Kent State turned up the heat, extending their margin to nine with 14:48 on the clock. But back to back threes by Raekwon Horton and Ben Burnham sparked yet another 14-4 run that put Charleston up 56-55 with under 11 minutes remaining in the game.

On the back of their guard Sincere Carry who lead all scorers with 25 points, Kent State would retain a one or two possession lead over the next eight plus minutes until Scott’s first long range missile tied the game at 69 apiece at the 3:44 mark. 18 seconds later Miryne Thomas would answer from beyond the arc for the Golden Flashes.

Several missed opportunities on both sides of the court ensued before CofC’s Ante Brzovic drove the lane for two. A couple of turnovers by Kent State followed by a time out allowed Charleston to re-group with Reyne Smith finding Scott open in the corner where the graduate transfer student player found nothing but net. Carry’s 3-point attempt was off the mark as time expired, providing CofC yet another hard fought win over a quality basketball program.

Larson would lead Charleston with 16 points finishing 3 of 4 from long range. Faye had an all around decent game adding 12 points to go with three blocked shots (his best in a Cougar uniform). Faye hauled in a game best eight rebounds as well. Dalton Bolon went 6 of 6 from the charity stripe adding one from downtown for 11 points. CofC got 26 points off the bench with Brzovic chipping in nine.

Known more for his defensive play Scott who played in the NAIA prior to coming to Charleston would finish with just the two clutch treys for six points including the game winner. With fans cheering him on Scott took the spotlight humbly. “Credit goes to my team mates. They believe in me. But it’s a great moment. You dream of those moments.”

Without doing the math the final stats looked like a Kent State victory, with the Golden Flashes doing what many have not done this season, and that is matching the Cougars on the glass. While both teams grabbed 37 rebounds, Kent State bested Charleston on the offensive boards (13-11). The lone stat that made the difference for CofC was the foul line. Although they finished just 17 of 26 for 66 percent, Kent State made only made two trips (3 of 4) at the line.

Besides Carry’s 25 points, Kent State had three players total in double figures with Malique Jacobs and Thomas adding 15 and 13 points respectively. The Golden Flashes suffer their first loss on the season and fall to 5-1 overall. The College of Charleston remain unbeaten at home, improving to 6-1 early in the season.

With many of the students away for Thanksgiving, the Cougars lost a good bit of their cheering section but Kelsey prepared. “I don’t know how many people saw on social media, but I kind of challenged people to provide an atmosphere without the students here and they did. The city really turned out. The last four minutes the crowd was awesome.”

CofC returns to action on Tuesday November 29 when they host Old Dominion in TD Arena. Tip off is set for 7pm. The Monarchs are familiar with TD Arena having played in the 2022 Charleston Classic a week ago.

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