Northeastern men’s basketball falls to College of Charleston at home


Photo courtesy Jim Pierce

Redshirt senior Chris Doherty goes for a layup while two Cougars try to block him. Doherty tallied 11 points in Saturday’s game, the most of any player on Northeastern’s team.

Emily Chung, news correspondent

Saturday afternoon, the Northeastern Huskies (8-11, 4-4) and the No. 18 Charleston Cougars (21-1, 9-0) faced off for the 21st time in program history. Though Northeastern had won five of the last seven meetings, the Huskies struggled to keep up with the Cougars, who won 61-87. 

Saturday marked the third time an Associated Press top-25 ranked team has ever visited Matthews Arena, and the Huskies were seeking a challenging win against the Cougars.

From tip off, the Huskies kept pace with Charleston, junior guard Jahmyl Telfort scoring on a layup just after Charleston’s Reyne Smith did the same mere seconds into the first half. For the next 39 minutes, the Huskies fought valiantly to breach the Cougars’ lead, but ultimately fell further and further behind as the game progressed. 

Coming into the game with 20 straight wins, the Cougars were on fire, utilizing their deep bench. Towards the middle of the first half, Northeastern climbed back to close the score to within two points (22-24), thanks to a three-point shot by junior forward Coleman Stucke. However, they were soon buried by the 19-3 run that the Cougars went on immediately afterwards, thanks to the back-to-back three-pointers sophomores Ben Burnham and Raekwon Horton scored off the bench. 

In the first half, the Cougars scored 14 of their 42 points from turnovers and caught 11 fast breaks, whereas the Huskies had none. 

Scoring too many second-chance points for the Huskies to keep up, the Cougars pulled ahead to a 16-point lead by the end of the first half (26-42) and deepened it with a 12-2 run in the second, making the hope of a comeback for the Huskies nearly impossible.

Northeastern freshman guard Harold Woods dribbles around an opposing player. Despite their efforts, the Huskies fell to the College of Charleston 61-87. (Photo courtesy Jim Pierce)

The second half was littered with turnovers from both teams. Around the 14:50 mark, there was a series of four turnovers that eventually ended in a layup by Raekwon Horton for the Cougars. Rushed passing around the perimeter led to many out of bounds calls and dropped basketballs rolling across the court. 

Senior forward Chris Doherty and freshman guard Masai Troutman both got into a bit of foul trouble later in the game, with three personal fouls each. 

“Going in, we thought Chris [Doherty] had a favorable matchup. I thought we had trouble getting him the ball. And foul trouble’s been something that’s plagued him. But we’re just a different team when he’s off the floor, so we’ve gotta do a better job of trying to protect him and put him in positions where he doesn’t get into foul trouble,” head coach Bill Coen said.

Leading the game for the Huskies, Doherty ended the game with a double-double (11 points and 13 rebounds), his second in the last three games following his performance against Delaware Jan. 16 (15 points and 13 rebounds). 

Alongside him was freshman guard/forward Jarod Turner with 11 points, three rebounds and two steals. Ultimately, these Huskies weren’t able to outscore the Cougars, who had three players — Ben Burnham (15 points), Pat Robinson III (14 points), and Ryan Larson (12 points)— record double digits. 

The Huskies, who had been shooting over 50% from the field in the previous seven games, lost their blazing streak with a field goal percentage of 35.7% and three point percentage of 28.6%. Alternatively, the Cougars were shooting 47.2% field goals and 36% three pointers.

“There’s always a chance for a comeback,” Coen said. 

This season, the Huskies have overcome two 10+ point deficits to win the game — Dec. 10 vs. Holy Cross and Jan. 16 vs. Delaware — but unfortunately were not able to surmount the broad point gap the Cougars put between them. 

“For us, we were just trying to win four-minute segments at a time and try to climb back into it,” Coen said. “I thought our kids played hard; we just lost to a better team.”

Northeastern is now 2-32 all-time against ranked Associated Press opponents, hasn’t beaten a ranked team since Nov. 27, 2015 against Miami and has a current season record of 8-11. The Huskies will hit the road Thursday for their next match against Towson, seeking their next win.