CSU rally falls short against UNC Asheville

CSU rally falls short against UNC Asheville
Phlandrous Fleming had 25 points but it wasn't enough as Charleston Southern dropped their 3rd in a row losing to UNC Asheville (Source: CSU Athletics)

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern came up just short in their comeback bid Saturday against UNC Asheville erasing a halftime deficit before falling at the horn 71-69 from Buccaneer Field House for just the third time this season.

VIDEO: CSU rally falls short against UNC Asheville

DeVon Baker missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free throw opportunity with 5.4 seconds left giving CSU (7-9, 1-3 Big South) a chance to tie or win the game, but the Bulldogs (7-7, 1-2 Big South) escaped as the final shot came up just short.

Phlandrous Fleming Jr. tied his career-highs in blocks (3) and rebounds (14) while scoring 25 in the loss for his sixth double-double of the season. He was joined in double figures by Ty Jones who added 15, his most in a Big South game this season. Fleming’s effort Saturday night was his fifth game scoring 20-plus over the last six contests beginning with a road win at Eastern Kentucky.

UNC Asheville saw four players in double figures as only six would score for the Bulldogs who were paced by 17 from DeVon Baker, 16 by LJ Thorpe, 14 from Lavar Batts and 13 by Tajion Jones.

How It Happened

· Charleston Southern and UNC Asheville traded leads back-and-forth over the first 11-plus moments before the Bulldogs broke a 24-all tie with a quick 7-0 spurt.

· UNC Asheville would hold a 44-35 advantage at the break scoring all 14 of their points off turnovers in the opening 20 minutes.

· Fleming paced the CSU attack at the break with 15 points, eight rebounds and a pair of blocks while UNC Asheville had three players in double figures led by 12 from Baker.

· CSU came out of the halftime break with a stiff defense before cutting the deficit back to 54-52 with 11:47 to play.

· The Bucs grabbed their first lead of the half at 61-59 moments later at 8:17 on a Dontrell Shuler jumper.

· UNC Asheville would outscore the Bucs 12-8 down the stretch with the final bucket coming with 9.4 left on the clock.

· CSU forced a 1-and-1 bonus for Baker with 5.4 left, but the sophomore guard missed the front end allowing CSU a chance to tie or win at the buzzer.

· The Bucs got a look at the basket, but came up empty at the final horn for just the third time at home this season.

Inside the Numbers

· Phlandrous Fleming Jr’s 25 points and 14 rebounds were good enough for his sixth double-double of the season scoring 15 of his points and grabbing eight boards in the first half.

· CSU would win the battle in the paint 34-30 along with second chance points and (13-5) and points off the bench (12-2).

· UNC Asheville turned nine CSU turnovers into 14 points in the first half, but the Buccaneer defense clamped down allowing none in the second.

· The Bucs shot over 40% from the floor for the fifth time over their last six contests.

· Four players finished in double figures for UNC Asheville paced by DeVon Baker (17) while Fleming (25) and Ty Jones (15) paced the Bucs offensively.

News and Notes

· Phlandrous Fleming Jr. collected his sixth double-double in the loss tying a career-high of 14 rebounds, matching a mark he had at Hampton just one week ago.

· Sadarius Boswer pulled down six rebounds, his most in a Big South game while donning a Buccaneer uniform.

· CSU shot above .400 from the field for the fifth time over their last six games and Fleming scored 20-plus for the fifth time over those six contests.

Up Next

The national spotlight awaits the Bucs Thursday night as they take on Campbell on ESPNU as part of the Big South’s WildCard Selection. Tipoff between the Bucs and Camels is slated for 7 p.m. in Buies Creek, N.C. with the Bucs looking for a key league road win.