Everyone knew about Grant Riller’s ability to score, but what few realized was that he could also be used as an effective point guard as well.
Riller scored 28 points and handed out a season-high nine assists, while Jarrell Brantley added 17 points and Brevin Galloway continued his hot shooting with 15 points as College of Charleston defeated Charlotte, 72-64, Saturday at TD Arena.
The Cougars (7-2) extended their home winning streak to 20 games, tied for longest in the nation, with the victory. The 49ers fell to 2-4.
With Marquise Pointer still sidelined with an elbow injury, Riller has been pressed into duty at point guard to spell freshman Zep Jasper. Riller has been the Cougars most reliable ball handler and already has 50 assists – more than the rest of the team combined – on the season.
The Cougars recorded 12 assists and had just four turnovers against the 49ers.
“I was very pleased with our performance,” said College of Charleston coach Earl Grant. “Just the effort and the soundness we played with – 12 assists and four turnovers. I thought we made a lot of good winning plays, taking charges and guys driving it and finding their teammates for open shots. I thought Zep Jasper had a big three off of Jarrell Brantley’s assist as well as Brevin off of Grant Riller’s assist. It’s good to see our guys make the right play and take care of the ball. I’m glad we were able to find a way to win against a good basketball team that played really hard tonight.”
The Cougars used a 12-2 run midway through the second half to break open a close game. A dunk from Brantley capped the run that gave the Cougars a 58-48 advantage with 8:20 to play.
This was the fifth time this season that Galloway has scored in double-figures. Galloway is 10 of 21 from 3-point range over the past three games.
“I pretty much just feed off of Grant and Jarrell,” Galloway said. “That makes the world of difference for me. They create so much attention for everybody else. I just feed off of them.”
- Brantley and Riller were expected to be the team’s top scorers this season.
In order for the Cougars to challenge for another title in the Colonial Athletic Association, they’d need to find some secondary scoring as well.
Galloway, Jasper and Jaylen McManus have been able to fill that role nicely early in the season.
“We have different guys,” Earl Grant said. “Jarrell and Grant, everybody knows those two. We would hope they play really well every night. There will be nights where they don’t play well and we have to have other guys step-up. For us, it’s always been a rotating guy. Tonight, it was Brevin. I thought Zep’s shots were crucial and big shots. Nick Harris – the deflections and protecting the rim – a lot of his stuff does not show up on the stat sheet. I thought he was really big for us. It was a total team effort.”
- After starting the season so strong, the Cougars were outrebounded by the 49ers by a 37-26 margin.
- The Cougars bench also got outscored, 9-5.
The Cougars will have nine days off for exams and then will take on Division II Georgia College, Earl Grant’s alma mater, Dec. 9 at TD Arena.