akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

WASHINGTON — If one is good and more is better, then the Charleston Cougars are looking to be the greediest bunch of the lot of teams that have descended onto our nation’s capital.

Charleston, the No. 1 seed in this year’s CAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, are the defending champions, and made a statement on Sunday afternoon with an 83-59 victory over eighth-seeded Monmouth to begin action in the quarterfinal round. Ben Burnham scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half for the Cougars, who are now winners of 10 straight.

Last season, the Cougars spent a number of weeks in the AP Top 25 and were a chic upset pick in the NCAA Tournament, but those hopes ended when they lost in the first round of the Big Dance to eventual national runner-up San Diego State. Without as much fanfare this season, Charleston may be even more dangerous this time around if it were to complete its mission in Washington, with players like Burnham, Ante Brzovic and Reyne Smith all back from last year’s 31-win squad.

A rematch of last year’s championship game tomorrow was spoiled by Towson in the second game, as the fifth-seeded Tigers knocked off No. 4 UNC Wilmington 66-56 in today’s second game. Freshman guard Dylan Williamson, a native of nearby Upper Marlboro, Maryland, led the Tigers with 18 points, including making all 11 of his free throws. Towson lost a chance to clinch a top-four seed — and the double bye into the quarterfinals that comes with that — when it lost on the road to the Seahawks in the regular-season finale, but it is possible that having to play in the second round yesterday might have made the Tigers sharper than their counterparts.

All-CAA First Team selection Trazarien White led all scorers with 26 points for the Seahawks, who had appeared in the last two CAA Tournament championship games.

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Friday’s event, with photos taken by ALOST staff photographer Yusuf Abdullah. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 15 pictures in total.

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Tags : Charleston CougarsCoastal Athletic ConferenceCollege BasketballMonmouth HawksTowson TigersUNC Wilmington Seahawks

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