CHARLESTON, SC - Charleston Southern forced 25 turnovers and scored 60 points in the paint to run away from Columbia International, 98-58, in Wednesday's home opener at the Buc Dome.
CSU (1-2) led 50-26 at halftime and used a 25-0 run early in the second half to blow the game completely wide open. The Bucs led by as many as 55 points and placed six players in double figures while overwhelming CIU (1-5) with their athleticism. CSU recorded a 60-14 advantage in points in the paint and a 33-7 edge in points off turnovers.
CSU head coach Barclay Radebaugh was pleased with the energy his club displayed in their 14th consecutive home-opening win.
"I'm really proud of the way we came out, particularly some minutes early and midway through the second half," Radebaugh said. "We went to our pressure and that created some good things and let us get out and run."
"I'm excited about the potential with this team," Radebaugh continued. "We've got tons to work on, tons to improve but it was a nice step. At some point in time, I'm confident this will be a good basketball team."
How It Happened
Javis Howard knocked down a three-pointer with 14:06 remaining to jumpstart a 25-0 run that swelled CSU's lead from 59-33 to 84-33. The Bucs held the Rams scoreless for 7:21 during that stretch, and forced numerous turnovers with a pressuring 1-3-1 defensive look. Howard, Ty Jones and Jamal Thomas all had dunks over that span.
Jones tallied 11 of his 14 points during that spurt, including a stretch of seven in a row. He threw down two dunks and showed explosive ability off the dribble.
Abdul Sarki capped the run with a layup, off a pretty feed from Thomas, for his first career Division I points.
In the first half, the Bucs staged a 20-4 run to take control. Two Travis McConico threes and a Fleming slam highlighted the surge. Howard hit a free throw to cap the run and give CSU a 34-14 advantage at the 5:41 mark.
Inside the Numbers
McConico paced CSU in scoring for the second time in three games and finished just shy of a double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds.
Ty Jones and Jordan Jones added career highs of 14 and 12 points, respectively.
Fleming and Howard each chipped in 11 markers, while JC Cavin added ten against his former team.
All 14 of CSU's available players saw action, with 12 reaching the scoring column.
Kameron Robinson, the younger brother of CSU basketball alum Raemond Robinson, paced CIU with a game-high 20 points.