Complete defensive effort paces CSU past Gardner-Webb on Saturday evening

Complete defensive effort paces CSU past Gardner-Webb on Saturday evening
Ty Jones goes off the dribble as he helps Charleston Southern get a win over Gardner-Webb (Source: Charleston Southern Athletics)

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern put together a complete defensive effort on Saturday evening in the Buccaneer Field House as CSU topped visiting Gardner-Webb, 64-50.

VIDEO: CSU gets big win over Gardner-Webb

The Bucs (8-11, 2-4) held Gardner-Webb (12-9, 2-4) to 16.7% shooting in the first half on their way to building a 14-point halftime lead. CSU cruised from there, going up by as many as 26 on their way to the Big South home win.

Ty Jones sparked the CSU offense for the second consecutive game as the sophomore forward finished with a team-high 18 points and nine rebounds. He added two blocked shots in helping the Bucs limit the Runnin' Bulldogs to a 32.8% field goal percentage.

Christian Keeling (13) and Phlandrous Fleming Jr. (10) added double-digit scoring off the bench with Keeling going a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line, while Fleming added a season-high six assists.

David Efianayi led all scorers with 23 points, 20 coming in the second half as the Runnin' Bulldogs attempted to fight their way back into the contest. Jose Perez added 14 points on 5-of-12 shooting in the loss.

How It Happened

  • A  stifling CSU defense limited Gardner-Webb to 4-of-24 (16.7%) from the  floor in the first half and 1-of-12 (8.3%) over the first 20 minutes.
  • Duncan  LeXander put in his first three-pointer of the game and Dontrell Shuler  added a pair of free throws to give CSU the quick 5-0 lead early in the  first half.
  • The  Runnin' Bulldogs responded with seven consecutive points with Jaheam  Cornwall giving GWU their lone lead of the night at 7-5 with 14:16  remaining in the first half.
  • Sadarius  Bowser swung the advantage back to the Bucs with a layup to even the score  as CSU went on an 11-2 run over the next four minutes to take the 18-9  lead.
  • CSU's  lead reached 14 just before the break following six consecutive points by  Jones as the sophomore finished with a team-high eight points and six  rebounds in the first half.
  • The  Bucs' lead reached 26 with 12:12 remaining in the contest following a  Fleming three-pointer as CSU took their largest margin of the contest.
  • Gardner-Webb  cut it down to 14 with 3:18 remaining following a trio of three-pointers  by Efianayi (two) and Eric Jamison Jr. to narrow the CSU lead down to  60-46.
  • The  Bucs sealed the game from the free throw line late with Keeling, Shuler,  McConico, and Jones hitting 12 consecutive free throws to close out the  game and secure the 74-60 win.

Inside the Numbers

  • Gardner-Webb  entered Saturday leading the Big South and sitting 27th in the NCAA in  field goal percentage (48.6%), but the Bucs effectively stifled the  Runnin' Bulldogs defense limited GWU to 32.8% (19-of-58) from the field in  the contest.
  • Ty  Jones was back in double-digits for the fourth consecutive game and led  the Bucs in back-to-back games for the first time in his career following  his 18-point, nine-rebound game.
  • The  Bucs held the 42-33 rebounding edge in the contest with 10 offensive  boards leading to six second-chance points.
  • CSU  picked up its first Big South home win of the season after previously  falling to both High Point (51-50) and Campbell (73-72).
  • The  Buccaneers were a perfect 18-of-18 from the free throw line with Jones  (6-of-6) and Keeling (6-of-6) pacing CSU in the category. It marked the  first time since 2015 the Bucs were perfect from the charity stripe  (Winthrop, Dec. 2, 2015 – 10-of-10).
  • Three  different CSU players recorded at least seven rebounds in the game with  Jones (9), McConico (7), and Fleming (7) all crashing the boards for the  Bucs.
  • Keeling  kept his double-digit scoring streak alive at 20 consecutive games  following his 13-point effort.

Postgame Quotes/Comments

"That's a good team (Gardner-Webb), a team that won at Georgia Tech and won at Wake Forest. I thought we got back to the basics of defending and rebounding. I thought our guys did a really good job. Our first half defense was amazing. Overall a very, very good defensive performance. We continue to improve and grow." – Head Coach Barclay Radebaugh

"I thought it was a huge win, especially for the younger guys to know that we are just going to get better and better. We're going to make a run. It's not necessarily how you start but how you finish. We're moving forward." – Senior forward Travis McConico.

Up Next

Charleston Southern remains at home hosting Presbyterian on January 30 in Big South Conference play. Tipoff on ESPN+ is set for 7:30 p.m.