A rematch of the Drexel Dragons’ (3-20, 1-11) only conference win on the season, the College of Charleston was keen on claiming revenge on the homecoming day. They did just that, in a vengeful 60-38 victory, in a game that they never trailed.
Charleston’s defense has put on some terrific performances this season, but what they did in the first half on Saturday was something special. The Cougars opened the game on a 14-0 run, as each of Drexel’s first 11 shots went ary. In fact, Drexel’s first six points came from the free throw line, so their first made basket did not come until there were just 6:28 left to go in the first half. Moreover, the basket was their only of the first half. Heading into the locker room, the Cougars had already built a twenty point lead, 30-10. The opportunistic defense held Drexel to just 1-17 shooting, while they forced 13 turnovers.
In the second half, Drexel was not able to mount a comeback, as they were shot just 23.5 percent from the floor. The last time these two teams met, a Jan. 9 victory in Philadelphia, Drexel’s big men dominated in the post, but Saturday, the use of aggressive double-teams slayed the Dragons.
Once again, Cameron Johnson led the way for the Cougars with 16 points and he tied a career-high with four steals. He has scored in double figures in six of the past seven games.
Front court stalwarts Jarrell Brantley and Nick Harris each picked up two early fouls in the first half, which forced senior walk-on Harrison Browne into his first appearance since the Cougars’ Dec. 13 win over North Greenville.
“Harry Browne, came in there and he played some good minutes,” said Nick Harris. “So I told him at halftime, those were key because we were all in foul trouble. We had our big guys on the bench, and we are down a man right now, so those minutes were huge for us.”
Browne scored his first point in a game since his three-pointer in the 2014-15 season opener against Furman. Nick Harris scored nine points to go with nine rebounds.
The victory marks the Cougars (15-8, 7-5) fifth in six games and with just six games prior to the CAA tournament, the team seems to be peaking at the right time.
“The momentum is huge for us,” Cameron Johnson said. “Right now, it’s just fun to go out and win games and kind of just live in the moment and then reflect. It’s a process and we are steadying the process.”
Charleston will return to action at the TD Arena on Thursday, Feb. 11, seeking to solidify a season series sweep against James Madison.