TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Charleston Southern caps a stern out-of-conference road schedule on Monday afternoon at Florida State. Tipoff at the Donald L. Tucker Center is set for 2 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on ESPN3. Audio coverage is available on csusports.com.
Monday's matchup marks the third straight year and fourth time in five seasons the Bucs and Seminoles have met. CSU gave Florida State a tough test last November, chipping a 14-point deficit down to three late in the second half before falling, 58-47. The Bucs also out-rebounded the Seminoles – perennially one of the biggest teams in college basketball – 40-34 overall, and 15-8 on the offensive glass.
CSU (4-7) gets a much-improved Florida State (8-2) team that has added scoring punch to go with its surplus of size. Freshman guards Malik Beasley (17.4 PPG) and Dwayne Bacon (16.9 PPG) both rank among the top-ten freshmen scorers in the nation. The Seminoles rank 31st nationally in both scoring offense (83.7 PPG) and rebounding margin (+8.2). Leonard Hamilton's team has won four in a row since losing at Iowa in overtime.
Barclay Radebaugh's Bucs played a spirited second half to nearly recover from a 38-23 halftime hole in Thursday's loss at Wright State. CSU played one of its best defensive stanzas of the year, holding the Raiders to 35 percent shooting while forcing a bevy of turnovers during a 25-13 run out of intermission.
CSU will break for Christmas before returning for practice on Dec. 26 in preparation for a home date with St. Andrew's (N.C.) three days later. The Bucs' final 16 games of the regular season will comprise the remainder of Big South Play. That stretch begins with a visit from league favorite High Point on Saturday, Jan. 2.
WE MEET AGAIN - Monday's game marks the third straight year and the fourth time in the last five seasons that Charleston Southern has traveled to Florida State. CSU has given the Noles a game each of the last two years. The Bucs lost by a 67-59 final count in December of 2013, and dropped a 58-47 decision last November. CSU trimmed a 14-point deficit to three late in the second half of the latter matchup. Despite giving up considerable size, CSU out-rebounded FSU 40-34 last year and posted a 15-8 advantage on the offensive glass.
DEFENSIVE STRIDES - CSU's second half defensive showing at Wright State was its second best of the campaign. The Bucs limited Wright State to 35 percent shooting to rally from a 15-point halftime deficit. CSU's only better stanza, as far as shooting percentage is concerned, came in the first half of the opener at Wichita State. CSU forced nine Wrigh State turnovers over the first 11:30 of the second half to come within 51-48.
PERFECT NIGHT FOR HOWARD - Javis Howard was a perfect 4-of-4 from the field of 2-of-2 from the free throw line in Thursday's loss to Wright State. Howard finished with ten points and two rebounds despite being limited to 11 minutes of action due to foul trouble. Howard has scored in double figures in back-to-back games for the first time in his career. He posted a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds in the rout of Columbia International.
THREE-POINT HAPPY BUCS - Charleston Southern ranks 10th nationally in three-point field goal attempts, and 15th in made threes per game. The Bucs have attempted 25 or more threes in seven games. They have connected on ten or more threes six times.
WALLACE LEADS THREE-POINT BARRAGE - Junior Patrick Wallace has lived up to his billing as an elite three-point shooter since transferring from N.C. State. Wallace ranks 11th nationally in threes attempted, and 19th in made threes per game. He's been efficient while doing it, shooting nearly 41 percent from beyond the arc. Wallace drained four triples last Monday, marking the sixth time this year he's hit at least four threes.
POTTER'S THE GUY - Armel Potter was named Big South Freshman of the Week last Monday, and has emerged as the Bucs' top player early in his rookie campaign. Potter leads all Big South freshman in assists and assist-to-turnover ratio, and ranks second in scoring. He had scored 20 points, and then 18 in four straight, over his last five outings before being held to six against Rider. Potter bounced back with 19 points, threee assists and three steals against Columbia International.