NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – The combined scoring difference of this season’s two regular-season matchups between Drexel and College of Charleston was three points. The Dragons edged a 79-78 road win in January, and the Cougars returned the favor with an 86-84 victory in Philadelphia last month.
The season tiebreaker between the two teams in the quarterfinals of the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament proved slightly less dramatic as No. 3 seed College of Charleston earned a 73-61 victory in front a maroon-clad hometown crowd, the largest of the tournament so far.
College of Charleston’s first-team All-CAA duo of Grant Riller and Jarrell Brantley proved to be too much for No. 6 seed Drexel, finishing with 24 and 16 points, respectively. Brantley also hauled in six rebounds and Riller added six assists. Sam Miller contributed 12 points and seven rebounds off the bench for the Cougars.
Drexel was paced by sophomore James Butler’s 14 points and nine rebounds. CAA rookie of the year Camren Wynter added 12 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Matey Juric and Alihan Demir also recorded double-figure scoring efforts, finishing with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
For the fourth consecutive game the Dragons were without senior guard Troy Harper. Harper suffered a foot injury during against Towson on Feb. 16 after scoring a combined 47 points in Drexel’s first two games against College of Charleston.
College of Charleston took a 38-24 lead into halftime, but Drexel opened up the second half with a 9-2 run to shock the arena back to life. Drexel used the early burst to hang around for the majority of the second half, before the Cougars pulled away for good in the final minutes.
College of Charleston advances to Monday’s semifinal round where it will face Northeastern, the tournament’s No. 2 seed, which cruised past UNC-Wilmington earlier on Sunday to set up a rematch of last year’s title game.
The loss gives Drexel a record of 13-19 overall and 7-12 against CAA opponents to end the season.