Men’s basketball: Tribe makes a comeback in thrilling overtime Senior Night win

Courtesy Photo / Tribe Athletics

A sensational performance from senior guard David Cohn saw him drop 30 points and 9 assists with a single turnover in his final game at Kaplan Arena. Cohn willed the Tribe to a 114-104 win in overtime after Charleston guard Grant Riller banked in a 35-foot three-pointer at the buzzer in regulation to tie the game.

“I think the thing I’m proudest of is the way we performed and the look in our face in the overtime,” head coach Tony Shaver said. “Probably nobody in the building gave us much of a chance to hold our ground in overtime.”

As it was senior night, Cohn, Connor Burchfield, Oliver Tot, Cole Harrison, Jamison Glover, Tommy Papas and Amir Shafi were honored prior to the game, along with senior manager Grant Gittins.

Harrison got the crowd going early, elevating above the rim to block away a dunk attempt, then scoring on a strong post move on the other end for a 2-0 Tribe lead two minutes into the game.

Riller then drilled a three to give the Cougars a 5-2 lead, but Burchfield responded immediately to knot the score at 5.

After another Charleston triple, Cohn responded with a solo performance, weaving his way down the lane through three Cougars before flipping home a reverse layup, cutting the College’s deficit to 8-7 at the first media timeout.

Coming out of the timeout, back-to-back threes from Burchfield and Cohn gave the Tribe a 13-8 lead.

Coming out of the timeout, back-to-back threes from Burchfield and Cohn gave the Tribe a 13-8 lead.

After Charleston tied the game, sophomore forward Nathan Knight established his dominance in the post, pushing the Tribe lead to 15-13 with just over 12 minutes remaining. After a defensive stop, Cohn pushed the pace, flipping a behind the back pass to a wide-open sophomore guard Matt Milon, who drilled the triple to push the lead to five.

Several plays later, Knight caught the ball in the high post, spun around his defender and dropped in a finger roll, pushing the College’s lead to 20-17 at the under 12 timeout.

After the timeout, Charleston took advantage of Knight’s subbing out, feeding the ball down low to Jaylen McManus, who hit the basket and the free throw to complete the old-fashioned three-point play and tie the game.

After a Cohn layup after a pretty backdoor pass from Knight, the Tribe ramped up its defensive intensity by jumping in passing lanes and closing out strong, but the Cougars were bailed out on a fall-away three from Riller with seven and a half minutes left in the half.

After excellent ball movement, Knight found Cohn for a wide-open left wing triple, which he buried. The next offensive possession, Knight again passed out from the post, finding Milon, who buried the midrange jumper while being fouled.

After Knight was forced to the bench with his second foul with over five minutes left in the half, the Tribe responded strong. Active hands in passing lanes forced a steal and ultimately gave way to a two-handed slam from sophomore guard Justin Pierce after a baseline drive, giving the Tribe a 34-28 advantage at the under four timeout.

With just under three minutes remaining, Pierce rebounded a missed free throw and went coast to coast, finishing at the rim while being hit, putting the Tribe up 39-30.

After forcing a tough Charleston shot, Cohn pushed the ball down the floor and laid it off to the trailing Burchfield, who drilled a three from 28 feet right before the halftime buzzer to give the Tribe a 44-32 lead going into the locker room.

Despite Knight spending the final five plus minutes on the bench with foul trouble, the Tribe won the rebounding battle in the first half, 15-13.

The College opened the second half with back-to-back threes from Milon and Pierce, pushing the lead to 15.

After backing down in the paint, Knight found a slicing Cohn for a reverse layup with just under 17 minutes left in the game.

Less than a minute later, Knight was whistled for his third foul, forcing the Tribe to another small lineup, playing Pierce and junior forward Paul Rowley down low.

“What an exciting arena to be in. Our crowd’s been great all year and it was special today. You could just feel it. And it impacts our players in such a positive way.” — HEAD COACH TONY SHAVER

After Charleston cut the deficit to eight, Rowley canned a triple to put the Tribe up 58-47 with just under 15 minutes to play.

After the teams traded layups, Cohn went to work, breaking down his defender, spinning and dropping home a soft 10-foot jumper for a 62-49 Tribe lead.

A minute later, after Milon missed a three, Cohn rebounded the miss and dropped home another short jumper for a 64-54 lead.

An impressive drive from Riller cut the Tribe lead to eight. On the next possession, Cohn found a cutting Burchfield, who corralled the pass and finished while drawing contest. After he knocked down the ensuing free throw, the College led 69-56 with just over 11 minutes to play.

A minute later, Cohn delivered a pinpoint pass to Pierce, who threw down a powerful two-handed dunk to give the College a 71-60 lead.

The following possession, the Cougars took advantage of Knight’s foul trouble, pulling down multiple offensive boards before finally finishing the play with a layup.

Two straight Charleston buckets followed by a traveling call against Rowley ignited head coach Tony Shaver and the home crowd.

“What an exciting arena to be in,” Shaver said. “Our crowd’s been great all year and it was special today. You could just feel it. And it impacts our players in such a positive way.”

After Charleston cut the lead to just four, 72-68, Shaver reinserted Knight with his four fouls, leaving him just under seven minutes to play without picking up a fifth. His presence was felt almost immediately, as he collected an offensive rebound on a Pierce miss and was fouled. He knocked down both free throws to give the College a 76-68 lead.

A huge three from Charleston guard Joe Chealey cut the Tribe lead to just five.

After a Milon miss, Chealey again scored for the Cougars, this time hitting all three free throws to cut the deficit to 76-74, forcing Shaver into a timeout with 5:14 remaining.

After the Cougars appeared to have a strong defensive possession, the Tribe was bailed out when Knight was fouled, but he missed the front end of the one and one.

After a Charleston miss, Burchfield dove for the rebound, drawing a foul in the process and showing the grit that had defined the Tribe’s senior night.

Burchfield drilled both free throws to create a four-point lead with four minutes to play.

After a huge rebound on the defensive end, Knight laid home a pass from Burchfield to give the Tribe a six-point cushion.

After Chealey hit two free throws, Knight drove strong and finished through contact to give the College an 82-76 lead.

A dubious foul called against the Tribe resulted in three more free throws for Chealey, who hit all three.

A powerful post hook from Knight put the Tribe up 84-79, but Charleston guard Cameron Johnson hit a triple to cut the College’s lead to two.

On the next possession, Cohn started from the right side, drove hard and was fouled on the right side of the rim, knocking down both free throws.

On the next possession, Pierce held his ground and drew a huge charge to give the College the ball back, up four with 54.4 seconds remaining.

The Tribe was forced into another timeout when two defenders trapped Pierce near midcourt.

This time, Cohn was fouled immediately after the ball was inbounded. He hit both free throws for an 88-82 lead with 42 seconds to play.

A quick Charleston layup cut the Tribe lead to four. The full court pressure following the basket gave the College further difficulties, as they nearly turned the ball over out of bounds before officials overturned the initial call on video replay.

A solid play drawn up by Shaver resulted in Knight catching the ball in the clear in the frontcourt, and he was quickly fouled, where he buried both free throws.

Charleston responded with a three and a quick timeout to cut the Tribe’s lead to three, 90-87, with 23.6 seconds remaining.

After catching the inbounds pass, Burchfield was fouled nearly immediately, also knocking down both free throws.

Another extremely difficult three pointer from Chealey fell, pulling Charleston to within two with just 17.3 seconds remaining.

The Tribe was again nearly trapped, but Burchfield was fouled again. He hit just the first of two free throws, giving the Tribe a slim 93-30 lead.

Chealey, who had just hit two straight threes, chose to drive the ball, dumping the ball off to a teammate for an easy two, but leaving the Cougars down one with 4.4 seconds to play.

Milon was fouled and hit both free throws, pushing the Tribe up 95-92.

With just 3.7 seconds to play, Riller caught the inbounds pass and pulled up from nearly 40 feet and banked home the triple to tie the game at 95 as time expired.

With just 3.7 seconds to play, Riller caught the inbounds pass and pulled up from nearly 40 feet and banked home the triple to tie the game at 95 as time expired.

After Knight drilled two free throws to open overtime, Charleston responded with a layup. After a Tribe turnover, Cohn was forced to foul Riller as he drove unimpeded to the rim. He hit one of two for a 98-97 lead for Charleston.

After Milon missed a difficult shot, Knight fouled out of the game battling for a rebound.

Ridiculously impressive footwork from Cohn led to his knocking down an 18-footer, tying the game at 99.

A Milon layup on the next possession put the Tribe back in front.

After a stop, Milon delivered a clutch three to give the College a five-point edge with just under two minutes left in overtime.

After a pair of Charleston free throws, Pierce drove to the cup and finished at the rim for a 106-101 lead with a minute to play in overtime.

The game ended with a 114-104 win for the Tribe.

With the Tribe clinging to a six-point lead, Charleston missed two straight threes before Cohn, the shortest player on the floor but the heart of this Tribe team, pulled down the biggest rebound of his career. After being fouled, he hit both free throws.

The game ended with a 114-104 win for the Tribe, as Cohn dropped 30 points and 9 assists in an incredible Senior Day performance that put his name among the most beloved in Tribe basketball history. Cohn was exhausted and passionate after the game.

“It means everything,” he said. “I’m serious when I say that. Especially to finish up the regular season like that going into the [CAA] tournament.”

Shaver did not hold back when discussing how important Cohn is.

“He was sensational,” Shaver said. “He’s become a great leader for us. From the first day to the last day, he’s been our catalyst, he’s been our leader. I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say he willed us to win tonight. He really just wasn’t going to have it any other way.”

Fellow senior Burchfield added 19 points, drilling all three of his three pointers in a fitting Senior Day for the player who leads the National Collegiate Athletic Association in three-point shooting percentage.

Milon had 20, and Knight added 19, playing tremendously during the final seven minutes of regulation while avoiding his fifth foul. Pierce had 16 points and 8 rebounds for the Tribe.

With today’s win, the senior class has more CAA wins that any class in school history with 44.

Cohn surpassed 1000 career points and 500 career assists in tonight’s game, with perhaps his most brilliant performance yet.

“The game lived up to everything that my dreams could have, in my final game in Kaplan. I’m really thankful.” — COHN

“The game lived up to everything that my dreams could have, in my final game in Kaplan,” Cohn said. “I’m really thankful.”

The Tribe finishes the regular season 18-11 with a 11-7 mark in conference play. It will be seeded either third or fourth in the CAA tournament next week, seeking the school’s first ever NCAA tournament appearance.


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