Northeastern Holds Off Cougars To Take Game 1 In Series

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Three College of Charleston players scored in double figures including a team-high 17 points from Brenden Tucker in a CAA contest that came down-to-the-wire and kept first-place Northeastern undefeated in conference play, 67-62, on Saturday at TD Arena. 

The Cougars (5-7, 3-2 CAA) led 60-57 on a layup made by Zep Jasper, who ended the game with 14 points, with 3:36 remaining in regulation. DeAngelo Epps came off the bench and contributed a career-and season-high 11 points including 3-for-4 shooting from long range. 

The Huskies (6-5, 5-0 CAA) would finish the game on a 10-2 run behind a game-high 20-point performance from leading scorer Tyson Walker. Shaquille Walters (13), Jason Strong (13) and Chris Doherty (11) also joined him in double figures for the visiting team. 

Game 2 of the weekend series between the Cougars and Huskies is scheduled for 1 p.m. (ET) tomorrow at TD Arena. Tickets are available for purchase online at: www.CofCSports.com/tickets 

POSTGAME NOTES 

· For the fifth-straight CAA game, College of Charleston went with the starting lineup of Zep Jasper, Payton Willis, Brenden Tucker, Lorenzo Edwards and Osinachi Smart (3-2). 

· Northeastern extended its win streak to four games in the all-time series with College of Charleston. Seven of the last eight meetings between the two schools have now been decided in single digits (-5). 

· Brenden Tucker turned in back-to-back games in double figures with a team-high 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting from the field in 36 minutes of action versus Northeastern. 

· Zep Jasper reached double figures for the ninth time this season with 14 points against Northeastern including 10 in the first half of play. He has scored in double digits in four of the last five conference games. 

· DeAngelo Epps came off the bench and registered a career-and season-high 11 points including 3-for-4 shooting from behind the 3-point line versus Northeastern. It marked his second career game in double digits next to 10 points against UNCW on Jan. 25, 2020. 

· Lorenzo Edwards brought down eight of the team’s 35 rebounds in the ballgame against the Huskies. It marked a season-best performance on the boards and a new career high on the defensive end (7). 

· The Cougars made a season-low six turnovers in a conference game. They previously had only five turnovers against Limestone in the non-conference on Nov. 28. 

POSTGAME QUOTES 

College of Charleston Head Coach Earl Grant 

On the loss … 

“Certainly, it was another battle today against another good team. We had our chances. I thought our guys played hard in the second half – holding them (Northeastern) to 30 points. It’s just disappointing that in the last three minutes, we couldn’t make enough winning plays to find a way to win the game. They made the plays and we didn’t. They made a couple of big shots. We had a crucial turnover late, that led to a basket AND1. We have to learn from those mistakes and bounce back in a quick turnaround.” 

On what happened down the stretch … 

“Again, we did not seize the opportunity. We were up two with two minutes to go. We were at the rim and turned the ball over and they made a basket AND1. I thought that was big. There was one crucial defensive rebound, we didn’t get. They (Northeastern) kicked it out and made a three. We had our opportunities. We had good looks. Typically, we shoot the ball really well. We had a couple of good looks that didn’t go down for us. They made the plays and we didn’t. It’s simple as that, especially in a close game. We did a great job of taking care of the ball for the game with just six turnovers, but three were in the last four minutes.” 

College of Charleston Sophomore Forward DeAngelo Epps 

On the loss … 

“At the end, we didn’t capitalize on a couple of plays at the rim. We had a couple of chances at the rim, where we could have dumped it off to open players. But, we couldn’t connect on certain plays down the stretch. We made the right plays, we just couldn’t connect.” 

On what the team needs to do better in Game 2 … 

“Tomorrow, we should start off better. As far as on the defensive end, we need to be better and more solid. They (Northeastern) scored 37 points in the first half, which isn’t really us. I feel like if we cut that down and keep them under 30 in the first half, I think it would’ve been a different game. Like Coach (Grant) always says, ‘if we keep a team 65-and-under, we win the game.’ I feel like in this case, keeping them 65-and-under, gives us an extra possession and we are able to win the game.” 

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