College basketball roundup: Charleston, back in the dance, parties like it’s 1999

Joe Chealey had 32 points and the College of Charleston rallied from 17 points down in the second half to win the Colonial Athletic Assn. tournament championship and earn its first NCAA tournament berth in 19 years with an 83-76 overtime win against Northeastern on Tuesday.

Fans mobbed the court when things ended, swarming a team that looked cooked an hour earlier.

After rallying to tie, the Cougars caught fire in the extra period. They hit their first four shots, including a pair of three-pointers by Marquise Pointer to take a 75-69 lead. Northeastern (23-10) could not come back.

The Cougars (26-7) appeared done early in the second half, trailing 42-25 after Vasa Pusica’s three with 17:27 to go. That’s when Charleston ramped up the pressure — it forced 14 turnovers in the second half — and tied it 65-65 on Chealey’s layup with 10.1 seconds to go.


Charleston got the ball back with the chance to win in regulation, but Chealey’s long three-point shot hit the front of the rim.

Jerrell Brantley gave the Cougars their first lead 67-65 in overtime before Pointer’s first three gave Charleston the lead for good. Two minutes later, Pointer did it again as the large, loud crowd at the North Charleston Coliseum exploded in delight.

Grant Riller scored 20 points for Charleston, 14 after halftime. Brantley finished with 18. Pusica had 30 points to lead the Huskies, who had their nine-game winning streak ended.

The Cougars finally closed the deal after missing out a year ago in their first CAA tournament final in their home city. Their lone NCAA tournament win came in 1997 when they took down then-ACC power Maryland before losing to eventual champion Arizona.


Wright State 74, Cleveland State 57: Grant Benzinger had 19 points and nine rebounds to help the second-seeded Raiders (25-9) beat the eighth-seeded Vikings (12-23) to win the Horizon League tournament title and earn their first NCAA tournament bid since 2007.

Long Island Brooklyn 71, Wagner 61: Joel Hernandez had 32 points and seven rebounds, and the fourth-seeded Blackbirds (18-16) handed their New York City rival its only home loss to win the Northeast Conference tournament title and earn their first NCAA tournament bid in five years.

South Dakota State 97, South Dakota 87: David Jenkins scored 29 points, Mike Daum had 25 points and 11 rebounds, and the Jackrabbits (28-6) won the Summit League tournament to clinch an NCAA tournament berth.

Syracuse 73, Wake Forest 64: Freshman Marek Dolezaj scored a career-high 20 points and the Orange (20-12) won an Atlantic Coast Conference tournament game for the first time.


Connecticut 70, 19 South Florida 54: Gabby Williams had 19 points to lead the Huskies (32-0) to the American Athletic Conference championship.

NCAA bids

Teams that have clinched tournament berths:



Lipscomb, Atlantic Sun

Radford, Big South

Michigan, Big Ten

Charleston, Colonial Athletic

Wright State, Horizon

Iona, MAAC

Loyola (Chicago), Missouri Valley


LIU Brooklyn, Northeast

Murrary St., Ohio Valley

UNC Greensboro, Southern

South Dakota St., Summit

Gonzaga, West Coast


Connecticut, American Athletic

George Washington, Atlantic 10

Louisville, Atlantic Coast

DePaul, Big East

Baylor, Big 12

Ohio State, Big Ten

Green Bay, Horizon

Quinnipiac, MAAC

Belmont, Ohio Valley

Oregon, Pac-12

South Carolina, SEC

Mercer, Southern

South Dakota St., Summit

Gonzaga, West Coast

Big West tournament schedule


at Anaheim

Thursday’s quarterfinals

No. 1 UC Davis vs. No. 8 UC Riverside, noon

No. 4 Cal State Fullerton vs. No. 5 Long Beach St., 2:30 p.m.

No. 3 UC Irvine vs. No. 6 Hawaii, 6 p.m.

No. 2 UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 7 Cal Poly, 8:30 p.m.


at Fullerton

Tuesday’s results

No. 5 Cal State Northridge 62, No. 8 Hawaii 57

No. 6 UC Riverside 79, No. 7 Long Beach State 66

Wednesday’s quarterfinals

No. 3 UC Irvine vs. UC Riverside, 6 p.m.

No. 4 UC Santa Barbara vs. Northridge, 8:30 p.m.