The Charleston Cougars came into their Quarterfinal matchup averaging just under 6.6 3-pointers per game on 34.1% shooting. Thus, things were going as well as could be hoped for when the Cougars shot 7-of-9 from three in the first half, and opened up a 40-27 halftime lead.
In that same first half, a UNCW team that was the second-best three-point shooting team (36%) in league play shot 0-of-6 from distance. It didn’t take long for things to flip around in the second half, as UNCW hit six 3-pointers as part of a 22-3 run that gave the Seahawks the lead.
Of course, the drama was just starting there. The resilient young Cougars went blow-for-blow wit the Seahawks, and had two chances to win within the final minute.
CAA Rookie of the Year Jarrell Brantley (15 points) had the ball stripped from his hands on the first attempt. Following a UNCW free throw, Brantley received the ball and managed to get a running look from the foul line.
The shot bounced off the front of the rim, and allowed UNCW to advance with the 66-64 victory.
Marcus Bryan kept UNCW within striking distance early, converting 7-of-8 from the field in the first half. The sophomore forward finished the game with a career-high 16 points.
Chris Flemmings (13 points) was the key cog in UNCW’s second half heatwave, as the All-CAA First Teamer connected on three treys in the opening minutes of the second half. Frosh C.J. Bryce proceeded to have his own mini run, finishing the game with nine points.
Brantley and Cam Johnson (21 points) combined to tally 18 of Charleston’s 24 second-half points.
UNCW will get the winner of Towson/Northeastern at 3:30 tomorrow.