Winthrop sunk 11 three-pointers and held Charleston Southern to 36.5 percent shooting and a 6-for-30 clip from downtown to claim a 64-53 win Friday at the Buc Dome.
CSU (6-10, 1-4 Big South) jumped out to a 15-5 lead courtesy of a 12-0 run and held a potent Winthrop (8-8, 2-3 Big South) offense 19 points below its season average but could never got on track offensively. The Eagles answered the Bucs’ spurt with an 18-0 run of their own, led by 11 points at halftime and as many as 18 in the second half to snap a three-game losing streak.
CSU head coach Barclay Radebaugh was once again pleased with his team’s defensive effort and fight but knows the Bucs must improve offensively as they hit the road for two games next week.
“I’m thrilled with our defensive effort and this team is consistently producing on the defensive end of the floor,” Radebaugh said. “I believe if we keep doing what we’re doing defensively it’s going to pay off. We just simply did not make enough shots to win so we need to keep working on the offensive end.”
How It Happened
Winthrop led 32-21 at halftime and then staged a 20-9 run to take a commanding 18-point lead after CSU scored the first four points of the second half. Bjorn Broman knocked down a pair of treys and Austin Awad hit one to highlight the stretch. Xavier Cooks punctuated the run with a dunk to put the Eagles up 52-34 with 10:52 remaining.
Christian Keeling scored ten consecutive CSU points, accounting for his only ten points of the game, to breathe life into the Bucs and the home crowd following Winthrop’s spurt. The highlight of that juncture was a transition dunk over the Eagles’ Kyle Zunic. Keeling capped his flurry with a jumper to close the gap to ten with 7:51 left. CSU came as close as seven on Phlandrous Fleming’s Jr.’s triple at the 1:02 mark.
In the first half, CSU blanked Winthrop for 6:23 to rip off a 12-0 run and build a 15-5 advantage. Jordan Jones began that effort with a dunk before Travis McConico buried back-to-back threes and Javis Howard recorded a pair of inside scores.
Charles Falden halted Winthrop’s drought with a three to start an 18-0 Eagles’ run, during which CSU was held scoreless for 7:48. Adam Pickett, Austin Awad and Anders Broman added treys during that time.
Inside the Numbers
CSU limited Winthrop to 40 percent shooting and forced 17 turnovers for the second consecutive game. The Bucs have forced 15 or more turnovers nine times and have held eight opponent to 40 percent or less from the field.
Winthrop out-rebounded CSU 45-27 overall and 11-7 on the offensive glass, producing a 17-2 difference in second-chance points. The Bucs entered second in the Big South in rebounding margin, while the Eagles were eighth.
Cooks, who only played seven minutes in the first half, paced Winthrop with 15 points. Bjorn Broman had 12 points and was 4-for-7 from beyond the arc. Josh Ferguson led the Eagles’ rebounding effort with 13 boards, including five offensive caroms.
McConico paced CSU with 11 points, while Keeling added ten to reach double figures for the 24th consecutive game. Fleming set a new career-high with four assists.
CSU is just 22-for-92 (23.9%) from three over its last four games.
CSU takes on preseason league favorite UNC Asheville on Monday. Tipoff at Kimmel Arena in Asheville, N.C., is slated for 7 p.m. The Bucs will travel to Campbell on Thursday.