Bulldogs take finale Friday afternoon 83-75
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Charleston Southern saw a career performance from Ja’Quavian Florence and four players in double figures, but UNC Asheville used a late run for the game’s eighth and final lead change taking the Friday afternoon win 83-75 in Big South men’s basketball action.
Charleston Southern (1-11, 0-8 Big South) shot nearly 57% from the floor in the first half and led by as many as seven thanks to 13 points from freshman Emorie Knox before UNC Asheville (7-6, 6-2 Big South) closed the game on a 16-6 run including an 11-0 spurt to complete the sweep.
Ja’Quavian Florence scored 15 of his career-high 21 points in the second half finishing a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line as Phlandrous Fleming Jr. had 16, Knox added 13 and Sean Price scored 12 in the loss.
UNC Asheville got 20 points from Taijon Jones for the second-straight contest as five total Bulldogs – LJ Thorpe (18), Trent Stephney (15), Jamon Battle (13) and Lavar Batts Jr. (10) – finished in double figures.
Charleston Southern held the 42-40 lead at the break thanks to a three-point play from Sean Price right before the buzzer. That lead was short-lived as the Bulldogs used a 10-0 run in the first two minutes at 50-42 with 17:17 to play.
Neither side led by more than eight points as the two combined for 48 points in the paint and shot nearly 50% in the contest.
How It Happened
- UNC Asheville got out to a 13-7 lead behind early Buccaneer miscues, but a 14-2 run over the next 3:45 would give CSU their first lead at 24-17 just eight minutes into the contest
- Emorie Knox scored 13 points in the first half sparking the Bucs’ run on a pair of treys and fast break layups
- All six Bucs who scored over the opening half finished with at least six points in the first 20 minutes as CSU shot .567 and hit five treys for the 42-40 halftime cushion
- Taijon Jones had another team-high 12 points for the Bulldogs in the first half to keep the home squad around and counter Knox’s 13 for the Bucs
- UNC Asheville flipped the script with a quick 10-0 run to open the second half behind baskets from Jones and Lavar Batts giving the Bulldogs a 50-42 lead with 17:17 to play
- Ja’Quavian Florence came alive in the second half behind a thunderous dunk scoring nine of the Bucs 10 points during a personal run in the middle stanza of the second half. He finished with a career-high 21 points with 15 coming in the second half
- Phlandrous Fleming Jr. scored nine of his 16 points in the second half as he finished the day 7-of-7 from the free throw line
- CSU was able to get the Bulldogs into foul trouble as the trio of De’Von Baker, Lavar Batts and Jamon Battle each had to play with four fouls down the stretch
- Trailing 69-65, the Bulldogs rattled-off an 11-0 run for a 76-69 lead with 4:11 to play
- Eight total lead changes would occur between the Bucs and Bulldogs and CSU would bring it back to 78-75 with just :50 left, but LJ Thorpe’s three-point play with :47 all but sealed it
News and Notes
- Phlandrous Fleming Jr. and Ja’Quavian Florene finished the day a combined 14-of-14 from the free throw line
- Four Bucs finished the day in double figures led by Florence’s game and career-high 21 points
- Florence became the third Buccaneer to score 21-plus points in a contest joining Fleming and Melvin Edwards Jr.
- Fleming stuffed the stat sheet once again with 16 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals. His 36 points over the two-game series moves Fleming to 10th all-time on the Charleston Southern Division I scoring list with 1,322 points
- Sean Price finished with double figures for the seventh time this season, tying Fleming for the most on the team
- Ja’Quavian Florence scored a career-high 21 points highlighted by a thunderous dunk as part of a personal nine-point run
- Phlandrous Fleming Jr. scored 16 points giving him 15-plus in eight of the nine games he’s played this season
- Emorie Knox hit three shots from deep tying his career performance against Winthrop
Charleston Southern returns home after the quick road trip for a pair of home games against USC Upstate. Tipoff between the Spartans and Bucs in game one is scheduled for Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. on ESPN+.