Presbyterian built a 12-point second half lead and held on down the stretch to defeat Charleston Southern, 57-49, Wednesday at the Buc Dome.
CSU (7-13, 2-7 Big South) jumped out to a 10-0 lead but struggled offensively the rest of the night, shooting just 34 percent overall and 27 percent in the second half. The Bucs’ pressure gave Presbyterian (9-13, 2-7 Big South) difficulty late, as the Blue Hose went without a field goal over the final 7:03. PC hit five free throws during that stretch, though, to stave off CSU and snap a 12-game losing streak in the series.
“We got off to a great start and from that point forward it was a tremendous struggle,” CSU head coach Barclay Radebaugh said afterward. “We really struggled offensively to make open shots. We’re gonna have to really watch the tape and see how many open shots we missed that would have allowed us to get into our press and play with more energy. Give credit to Presbyterian because they played hard and with tremendous energy.”
How It Happened
PC ended the first half on an 8-0 run to take a 33-26 halftime advantage. Romeo Crouch punctuated that spurt with a three-pointer from the right corner.
The Blue Hose opened the second half hot, sinking five of their first seven shots to push the margin to 45-33 on Davon Bell’s layup at the 15:21 mark.
CSU whittled its deficit down to 47-41 on Christian Keeling’s layup with 8:33 left. Reggie Dillard answered with one of the bigger shots of the night for the Blue Hose, draining a long contested triple late in the shot clock. Bell tacked on an offensive put back and Armel TeTe made a free throw to send the cushion to 53-41 with 6:16 remaining.
From there, CSU’s full-court pressure harried PC into several turnovers and mistakes, giving the Bucs a chance to rally. Keeling’s driving score with 57 seconds left closed the gap to 53-48 and CSU closed within five again 25 seconds later but Dillard made three of four free throws over that time to help PC prevail.
In the first half, Javis Howard and Ty Jones scored four points apiece during CSU’s 10-0 run to start the game. Bell knocked down a trey for PC’s first field goal at the 15:08 mark and the Blue Hose stayed hot from there, shooting 54 percent in the opening stanza.
Inside the Numbers
Bell posted a game-high 19 points and nine rebounds to pace PC. The Big South’s leader in assists added five helpers.
Dillard finished with 17 points and went 4-of-7 from beyond the arc.
Keeling and Phlandrous Fleming Jr. led three Bucs in double figures with 13 points. Jones matched a career-high with 12 points for the second consecutive game.
PC, which was ninth in the Big South in rebounding margin entering play, posted a 42-28 advantage on the glass.
PC held CSU to a 3-of-26 clip from three-point range.
CSU forced 19 turnovers for the second straight game. The Bucs have now forced 15 or more turnovers 12 times. CSU entered the contest ranked 20th nationally in turnovers forced per game.
CSU hits the road Saturday to take on first-place Radford. The game will be televised on the Stadium Network and carried locally on MyTV Charleston. Tipoff at the Dedmon Center in Radford, Va., is set for 2 p.m.