Buccaneers top Blue Hose in Big South regular season finale, 72-65

Buccaneers top Blue Hose in Big South regular season finale, 72-65
(Source: Bilodeau, Kevin)

Buccaneers top Blue Hose in Big South regular season finale, 72-65

CLINTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern utilized a strong defensive presence and a key six-point swing by Phlandrous Fleming in the second half to pull away late from host Presbyterian College in the Bucs’ regular season finale, 72-65.

CSU (15-14, 9-7 Big South) limited Presbyterian to 34.8% shooting in the game – 25.0% in the second half. The Bucs held the Blue Hose to just one three-pointer over the final 20 minutes in closing out the season sweep over PC.

Christian Keeling led all players with 25 points and added eight rebounds in the win. Fleming added 20 points and 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season.

Adam Flagler led the Blue Hose with 16 points as Presbyterian finished with four players in double-digits in the scoring column. Cory Hightower (14), Kody Shubert (13) and Francois Lewis (11) all scored double-digts in the loss.

The Bucs and Blue Hose will await the release of the Big South Championship seedings by the conference office later this evening.

How It Happened

  • Presbyterian went up 12-7 following a three-pointer from JC Younger to take the early two-possession lead over the Bucs with 14:43 to play in the first half.
  • Christian Keeling responded with six consecutive points to put the Bucs in the lead capped by a three-pointer with 13:10 on the clock.
  • The Blue Hose went up four on another Younger triple at the 10:22 mark to put the Blue Hose ahead 19-15.
  • CSU rallied back with a 7-0 run capped by a Keeling breakaway dunk with 9:00 remaining in the first half to go back ahead 22-19.
  • The Blue Hose went up by as many as six with 3:56 to play in the first half on a Shubert layup to stretch the PC lead to 34-28.
  • The Bucs cut it down to one on Fleming’s layup late as PC held the 39-38 lead at the half.
  • PC scored the first seven points of the second half to build their largest lead in the game with 16:30 to play as Flagler converted a pair of free throws.
  • The Bucs defense took over for the next four minutes as CSU went on a 9-0 run capped by a Shuler layup to take the lead at 47-46.
  • The game remained within one possession until 2:40 left in the contest when Fleming took over from the floor.
  • The sophomore guard converted a pair of layups and then followed up with a pair of free throws to put CSU ahead 65-57 with 1:08 to play.
  • CSU’s lead reached double-digits with 33 seconds remaining on a McConico free throw as the Bucs closed out the 72-65 win.

News & Numbers

  • Charleston Southern could finish as high as the No. 5 seed pending the conclusion of the UNC Asheville-High Point men’s basketball game.
  • The Buccaneers started the year 1-4 in Big South play before rallying to close out the season with an 8-3 stretch on their way to finishing with a 9-7 record in conference play.
  • Christian Keeling’s 25-point game marked his 12th of the season and 33rd of his career.
  • Phlandrous Fleming’s 20-point, 10-rebound game was the second of his career.
  • Fleming’s 20-point game was his third 20-point effort of the year and sixth of his career.
  • Keeling (1,571 career points) moved past Mario Salerni (1,557, 1965-69) into sixth all-time in the CSU career scoring rankings.
  • The Bucs limited Presbyterian under 40.0% shooting from the floor – their fifth consecutive game limiting their opponents.
  • Both teams combined to score one three-pointer (1-of-20) from the floor in the second half.
  • CSU picked up their fourth consecutive win over the Blue Hose in the series

Charleston Southern is the No. 6 seed in the 2019 Big South Men's Basketball Championships and will host No. 11 USC Upstate in first round play Tuesday at the Buc Dome as announced by the conference office.

Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on ESPN3. The winner will advance to play No. 3 Winthrop in Buies Creek, N.C. in Thursday's quarterfinals.

Ticket Information for Tuesday Night*

Reserved Seats - $15.00

General Admission Seats - $10.00

There will not be any complimentary tickets for the Big South postseason games. All tickets for Tuesday night may be purchased through the CSU Ticket Office.

CSU finished the regular season in a four-way tie for fifth place in the conference standings with High Point, Presbyterian, and Hampton. Due to the tiebreakers, High Point claimed the No. 5 seed and the first round bye, while CSU earned the No. 6 seed.

CSU (15-14, 9-7 Big South) won both games in its matchup against USC Upstate in the 2018-19 season. The Bucs won the opener in Spartanburg on February 2, 90-71. CSU completed the sweep over the Spartans on February 21, 92-60, in the Buc Dome.

As the No. 1 seed, Campbell will host the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds on March 7-8, while the highest remaining seed will host the championship game on Sunday, March 10, on ESPN. In addition, Campbell has secured the Big South's automatic bid to the NIT should they not win the conference tournament.

The other first round games feature No. 7 Presbyterian hosting No. 10 UNC Asheville, while No. 8 Hampton will host No. 9 Longwood. All games are scheduled to start at 7 p.m. and will be carried live on ESPN3.

Thursday's quarterfinal round will begin at noon with No. 2 Radford taking on the winner of Presbyterian/UNC Asheville.

The first round and the quarterfinal rounds will be carried live on ESPN3, while the semifinal round will be streamed on ESPN+. The conference championship game will be carried live on ESPN with tipoff scheduled for noon.

Ticket Information for the Full Big South Men's Basketball Championships

Tickets for the 2019 Big South Men's Basketball Championship will be sold through the host school of the three first round games, through the No. 1 seed for the quarterfinals and semifinals, and through the highest remaining seed for the finals.

First Round - March 5 - Higher Seeds Host

No. 11 USC Upstate at No. 6 Charleston Southern – 7 p.m.

No. 10 UNC Asheville at No. 7 Presbyterian – 7 p.m.

No. 9 Longwood at No. 8 Hampton – 7 p.m.

Quarterfinals – March 7 - Gore Arena – Buies Creek, N.C. – ESPN3

UNC Asheville/Presbyterian vs. No. 2 Radford – Noon

Charleston Southern/USC Upstate vs. No. 3 Winthrop – 2 p.m.

Longwood/Hampton vs. No. 1 Campbell – 6 p.m.

No. 4 Gardner-Webb vs. No. 5 High Point – 8 p.m.

Semifinals – March 8 - Gore Arena – Buies Creek, N.C. – ESPN3

TBD vs. TBD – 6 p.m.

TBD vs. TBD – 8 p.m.

Championship – March 10 - Highest Seed Remaining – ESPN

TBD vs. TBD – 1 p.m.