Gonzaga senior Charles Glover is fine with the fact that his name doesn’t show up often in scouting reports. As for Eagles Coach Steve Turner, it’s a situation that makes him equally mad and happy, for as much he can’t stand how Division I colleges overlook the talented Glover, he doesn’t mind when Gonzaga’s opponents do the same.
Thursday, in a game featuring several highly touted recruits with Gonzaga and DeMatha’s historic rivalry as the backdrop, Glover emerged with 11 of his 14 points in the second half to lead the top-ranked Eagles to a 61-52 win in a WCAC showdown at Gallaudet University.
“I know I probably sound like a broken record, but I always say we’re not a one-trick pony and Chuck is very underrated,” Turner said. “A lot of Division I colleges are missing the boat on him, but someone will take notice and we’re happy to have him in the meantime.”
The Eagles (14-2, 6-0) closed the first half riding a player who’s had no trouble drawing national attention: Kris Jenkins.
After Corey Henson nailed three straight three-pointers in the final minute of the first quarter to give No. 6 DeMatha an 18-16 lead, Jenkins led a second-quarter surge. The Villanova recruit scored 11 of his game-high 22 points to help the Eagles outscore the Stags, 17-4, in the period and take a 14-point halftime lead.
“Offensively, I just tried to stay aggressive because when we’re aggressive, our team is at its best,” said Jenkins, who also had 11 rebounds.
The Stags (8-6, 5-3), who have lost three of four, began double-teaming Jenkins in the second half. And as Jenkins’s open looks dwindled, DeMatha surged back into the game behind the dribble penetration of Jairus Lylesand subsequent inside looks for BeeJay Anya. A dunk by Anya marked his 18th point and cut Gonzaga’s lead to 48-46 with 5 minutes, 26 seconds remaining.
That’s when Glover responded. As he did in the third period with several up-and-under lay-ins, Glover attacked the rim on a putback to stretch the lead back to four. The Stags then went cold at the line, missing four of their next six free throws. Glover made four of the Eagles’ 11 foul shots in the clutch to secure the win.
DeMatha had won four of the past five meetings between these two teams.
“I saw they were doubling Kris a lot, so I just tried to attack the basket and take advantage of the open looks that my teammates set up for me,” Glover said. “I know I’m under the radar, but I don’t let it get to me because as a senior I have to step up as a leader when we need it.”