On Thursday evening, the College gave the James Madison Dukes the rematch they craved, after the Cougars defeated them back on January 27th. In thrilling fashion, the College of Charleston men’s basketball team took this opportunity to extend their current winning streak to 9 games.
This overtime extravaganza was a testament to just how strong the CAA conference is from top to bottom, as the top team, the College of Charleston needed an overtime period and game-winning 3-pointer to down conference bottom-dweller James Madison.
In a similar fashion as the past few games, the offense was dictated by lead guard Grant Riller. Riller had another dynamic performance at JMU as he finished with 32 points on 13-20 shooting. Riller was also responsible for the game’s biggest bucket which fell with less than 3 seconds left in overtime.
Although Riller’s offensive output during this win streak has been phenomenal, the rest of the squad has been chipping in more and more as of late.
Jarrell Brantley continued his stellar consistent play, as he notched a double-double against James Madison, totaling 20 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
Cameron Johnson, or “Mr. Consistent” as Coach Grant calls him, also shined on Thursday. He had his first career double-double, with a tidy 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The pace of this game was one typical of overtime games, as the first half was a back-and-forth endeavor that concluded with the Cougars clinging to a two-point lead.
Brantley led the charge in the second period, as he scored 15 of his 20 points in that time. This period was just as tightly contested as the first, and a talented JMU squad evened up the score to send it to overtime.
As Joe Chealey narrowly missed the potential game-winner at the end of regulation, the Cougars set their mind on coming out strong for the overtime period.
The team leaned on their offensive bread and butter, Grant Riller, to lead the charge in this extra time. He added 8 points to his total, 3 of which decided the game’s fate.
This streak, which has included 5 home games and 4 away games, has truly defined the nature of this College of Charleston club. They’ve grinded out performances like this week after week, despite the circumstances.
The team has proven that its depth and resilience are its biggest strengths, as any game could feature a different scorer leading the charge.
The College’s “big 3” of Grant Riller, Jarrell Brantley and Joe Chealey have each stepped up along the way as the team has built their 21-6 overall record.
Hopefully, these 3 and the rest of the CAA’s #1 team can continue their dominant play as the season draws to a close.
The team plays next on February 17th, as they travel to Wilmington to take on conference foe UNCW.