Harper reaches 1,000 career points as CSU dominates St. Andrews, 122-40
CHARLESTON, SC -
Charleston Southern connected on a single-game program record 20 three-pointers and junior Arlon Harper became the 20th player in program history to score 1,000 career points as the Bucs throttled St. Andrews, 122-40, at the Buc Dome on Saturday night.
Harper scored his 1,000th point on a free throw with 15:30 left in the first half and finished with 12 points and three steals in only 19 minutes of action. He was one of six Bucs to reach double figures scoring, with Matt Kennedy and Saah Nimley leading the way with 18 points apiece.
Freshman Bakari Copeland added a career-high 17 points, while Will Saunders and Sheldon Strickland contributed 13 and 11 off the bench. CSU (5-6) shot 74 percent in the second half and 67 percent overall en route to posting the largest margin of victory in school history.
"I was really proud of that performance tonight," CSU head coach Barclay Radebaugh said. "St. Andrews has played well against some tough competition. They've played well against South Carolina State and against Campbell. They played a tough one last night at Mercer. We came in with a specific game plan in place tonight and we prepared really hard."
"Give credit to our guys," Radebaugh continued. "They really executed tonight. They tried to delay the game a little bit and it is difficult to play against someone when they do that. We had to be patient. We wanted to get two or three of their scorers in foul trouble and we were able to do that. We took care of business, and in a game like that, that is exactly what we need to do."
The Bucs held St. Andrews (1-8) to 30 percent shooting and forced 22 turnovers on their way to tallying a 39-0 advantage in points off turnovers.
St. Andrews hung tough in the early going with its deliberate style, but a 22-0 run turned a ten-point CSU margin into a 32-point cushion as the Bucs took a 56-21 lead into intermission
Kennedy, Paul Gombwer and Nimley all connected on three-pointers early and Saunders added a fourth trey as the Buccaneers hit ten first half three-pointers on their way to building the early lead.
CSU's lead reached double-digits early in the first half as Saunders connected on a turnaround jumper inside the paint following an offensive rebound as the Buccaneers went up 15-4 with 13:47 remaining in the first half.
St. Andrews rallied back to narrow the deficit down to five points at 19-14 at the 9:33 mark, using a 7-2 run to work their way back into the game. Marko Zjacic scored four points during the stretch before Aaron Smith connected on a trey from the top of the key to pull the Knights back to within four.
Charleston Southern, however, rallied back in scoring eight straight points over the next 45 seconds, using a three-point play by Saunders and a technical foul on the St. Andrews bench to go back up 27-14 with 8:57 remaining in the half.
The margin was 29-19 following a Aaron Smith layup at the 8:05 mark, but the CSU defense clamped down over the next six minutes in holding the St. Andrews offense scoreless as the Bucs took a 51-19 lead with 2:54 left in the opening stanza. The 22-0 run by CSU was sparked by five three-pointers during the stretch, including two by Kennedy and two by Strickland as the Bucs' margin increased to 32 points.
A 12-0 run early in the second half allowed CSU to continue the onslaught, with Nimley recording eight consecutive points and burying two threes during the spurt which ended with the Bucs ahead 74-25.
Copeland then came off the bench to jumpstart a 10-0 stretch that gave the Bucs an 89-29 advantage. The 6'6" freshman drilled threes from each corner and threw down a right-handed dunk in transition.
Senior Mitchell Deter also joined in on the three-point barrage by sinking three triples, the second of which pushed the CSU advantage to 105-35 at the 5:31 mark and broke the previous school record of 17 made threes, set on January 12, 2007 against VMI.
The Bucs now travel to Tallahassee, Fla. tomorrow to prepare for a Monday night meeting with Florida State. Tipoff against the Seminoles is scheduled for 7 p.m., and the game will be televised live on Fox Sports South (Comcast Ch. 59; Time Warner Cable Ch. 31; Direct TV Ch. 646).
"Florida State is really tough," said Radebaugh of the 8-3 Seminoles. "They are going to have a different game plan for us. They are extremely tall and athletic and obviously have tremendous talent on their roster as well. I like some of the improvements that our team made today. I like some of the things we were able to do today. It can be tough sometimes against a smaller team like that. But we worked on our press and we were able to do that against them tonight. We made some progress. We've made some progress against a tough schedule that has really challenged and been good for us."
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