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No. 22 Charleston rallies late to hold off UNCW, 71-69

Nov 20, 2022; Charleston, South Carolina, USA; Official Ron Groover (stripes) points to a video board as Charleston Cougars head coach Pat Kelsey reacts in the back ground to a goaltending call in a game against the Virginia Tech Hokies at TD Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

Dalton Bolon scored 16 points and No. 22 College of Charleston needed a late response to pull out a 71-69 victory against UNC Wilmington Wednesday night in Wilmington, N.C., extending the nation’s longest winning streak to 16 games.

After both teams missed 3-point attempts, UNCW had possession with 41 seconds to play and trailing 70-69. Jaylon Scott was credited with blocking Shykeim Phillips’ shot on the game’s final sequence.

Time was put back on the clock and a free throw accounted for the final margin, with Charleston finishing the game on a 7-0 run.

Ante Brzovic and Ryan Larson both scored 13 points and Ben Burnham had 12 points for Charleston (17-1, 5-0 Colonial Athletic Association).

It marked the end of a 13-game winning streak for UNCW (14-4, 4-1), which had the nation’s second-longest streak.

Trazarien White and Jamarii Thomas both had 16 points, Amari Kelly notched 13 points and Maleeck Harden-Hayes contributed 12 points for the Seahawks.

Harden-Hayes had eight points in a 77-second span as the Seahawks bolted to a 66-62 lead with 3:38 remaining.

Down 69-64, Brzovic hit a 3-pointer and Larson converted a three-point play to send the Cougars back on top at 70-69 with 1:33 to play.

UNCW began the second half on a 13-4 run to close within 46-44.

Reyne Smith’s 3-pointer helped slow the charge. Charleston had more answers after the gap was trimmed to 53-51, with Bolon scoring the next three Cougars baskets to help stretch its edge to 59-54.

Thomas kept the Seahawks on the attack to close within 59-58 and the home crowd roared some more. Bolon then drained a 3-pointer.

Charleston gradually built a 42-31 lead by halftime, shooting 55.2 percent from the field and making seven 3-point baskets to go with a 3-for-3 mark on free throws.

UNCW was just 2-for-7 on 3-point tries in the opening half.

Burnham came off the bench to hit a pair of 3-point shots as part of Charleston’s early surge to take a 14-8 lead. The Cougars stretched their edge to 29-17 on Smith’s 3-pointer.

–Field Level Media