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CofC Roll To 20th Straight Win, Down NU 87-61



Cougar Bench Score 47 Pts. With Burnham & Robinson III Leading the Way
By: Jeff Walker, Sports Writer

A little more than 36 hours after they escaped New Jersey with a 69-55 win over 1-18 Monmouth University, the College of Charleston men’s basketball team did battle against Northeastern University in a noon tipoff in Boston on Saturday. Carrying their 19 game win streak and 20-1 record the Cougars were easily favored to come away with a win over the 8-10 Huskies at Matthews Arena.

Rising steadily through the weekly AP poll 18th ranked CofC averaging just under 80 points per game seemingly went into the contest with the upper hand, facing an opponent averaging just 66 points over each outing this season and just 4-3 in league play, while Charleston is a perfect 8-0 in the CAA.

But records mean very little when teams take to the court, and NU no doubt would be anxious to be the team to put an end to CofC’s winning streak. The Huskies held their own for the first 10 minutes before the Cougars started to outpace their host, exploding in the second half for a runaway 87-61 victory.

Ben Burnham came in off the bench to lead the Cougars with a game best 15 points including 3 of 5 from beyond the arc. Pat Robinson III chipped in 14 points with Babacar Faye adding nine as the bench accounted for 47 points overall. After being 2 of 17 in his last couple of outings, Ryan Larson went 5 of 8 from the floor, including 2 of 5 from 3-point land to add 12 points. In what can only be listed as a well rounded game Jaylon Scott and Reyne Smith finished with 9 and 8 points respectively for the Cougars.

Smith put the Cougars up in the first minute on an uncontested layup. Larson who has been relatively quiet the last two games scored seven quick points, dishing out an assist to Faye for an easy slam dunk as Charleston went up 14-8 after four minutes of play.

Burnham checked in the game and made his presence known right away, as he accounted for five points, with Larson adding another bucket as CofC established a double digit (21-11) lead inside eight minutes of play. The Hawks scored seven to cut the margin to three before Charleston erased a three minute offensive drought with a couple of free throws by Faye. A triple by NU’s Coleman Stucke made it a one possession (23-21) game with just over seven minutes in the opening period.

Two hard fought layups by Robinson III followed by a big three by Burnham fueled a 13-0 run allowing the visiting team to take a 36-21 advantage with under four minutes in the half. When Bolon recorded his first points of the contest Charleston went up 40-24 eventually heading into the locker room up 42-26.

The Cougars came out of the break with the same tenacity. Back to back threes by Larson and Smith soon found CofC up 51-32. When Burnham hit for his 10th point on the afternoon Charleston enjoyed a healthy 57-34 advantage nearing the midway point.

When Burnham added two from the line and a trey, followed by a missile from Smith the Cougars enjoyed a 75-43 margin with just over four minutes remaining on the clock. An easy layup by Faye gave CofC a 29 point lead before going up by 33 for one possession.

With less than two minutes left Coach Pat Kelsey emptied the bench with CofC coasting to an 87-61 victory extending their win streak to 20 games, while moving to 21-1 overall while remaining undefeated in the CAA at 9-0 midway through the conference schedule.

Chris Doherty who’s usually a threat to defenses and Jared Turner lead the Huskies finishing with 11 points apiece. Doherty ruled on the glass hauling in a game high 13 rebounds. With the loss Northeastern fall to 8-11 on the season and 4-4 in the CAA.

The Cougars will return home to Charleston after a two-game road stint to face Hofstra on Saturday, January 28. Action is set for 4:00 p.m. at TD Arena.

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