Strong defensive output leads CSU to convincing win on opening night
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern men’s basketball earned its first win of the 2022-23 campaign in front of a packed Buc Dome Monday night, topping visiting Toccoa Falls 83-52.
THE MJ WAY
Claudell Harris Jr. made a statement tonight to open his sophomore campaign, dropping a career-high 26 points on 7-16 shooting while also chasing down five boards. Coming off the bench, Harris Jr. made an immediate impact on the floor, but was efficient along the way, drawing nine fouls and going 9-11 from the charity stripe in a team-high 28 minutes logged.
Taje’ Kelly had a big night as well for Head Coach Barclay Radebaugh’s side, amassing nine boards to add to 12 points on 6-12 shooting from the field. Kelly also added two helpers and a block to his line and split his boards with six on the defensive side and three on the offensive side
IN THE BALANCE
Four different Bucs found double figures in the contest, with Harris Jr. leading the way with 26 points. Cheikh Faye shot it well tonight as well, collecting 14 points on 4-7 shooting from beyond the arc to edge out Kelly’s 12. Kalib Clinton followed suit with 11 of his own to add to seven boards and a block.
The Bucs finished the contest shooting 30% from the field but converted 15 of 20 chances at the charity stripe to supplement the offensive effort. CSU also saw 14 second-chance points and 12 fast break points, but the damage was done inside the paint with 44 of the 83 total points coming in the area.
ON THE DEFENSIVE SIDE
Charleston Southern turned in an impressive effort on the defensive side of the ball in its season opener, forcing 19 Toccoa Falls turnovers and turning them into 17 points on the other end of the floor. Tres Berry made his presence known on the defensive side as well, collecting three steals to match Clinton’s total in a team-leading effort.
SHARING THE WEALTH
The Buccaneers laid claim to 19 assists on 30 made field goals in tonight’s contest as RJ Johnson and Berry each accounted for four of their own to highlight a group of seven different Bucs to collect multiple helpers. It was a total team effort, with Charleston Southern dominating every aspect of the game in a convincing opening-night voctory in front of the home fans.
The Bucs hit the road to Columbus, Ohio for a clash with Big 10 member Ohio State in its next affair. The contest with the Power 5 opponent is slated for a 6:30 tip Thursday, November 10 inside Value City Arena.
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