CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern guard Armel Potter tallied a career-high 21 points, but Longwood outlasted the Bucs for a 78-76 double overtime win at the Buc Dome on Saturday.
Longwood's Tra'vaughn White sunk two free throws with 29 seconds left in the second overtime to provide the final difference. CSU (8-16, 4-9 Big South) had two looks at potential game-winning three-pointers in the closing seconds, including one from Potter that rimmed out at the buzzer.
Neither side led by more than seven points in a back-and-forth affair that featured 12 ties and 13 lead changes. Lotanna Nwogbo paced Longwood (8-17, 4-8 Big South) with a double-double of 19 points and 13 rebounds. White and Kanayo Obi-Rapu each scored 17 to help lead the Lancers to their second consecutive win.
Potter knocked down a season-high five threes and also contributed seven rebounds and five assists while logging almost all 50 minutes. Rae Robinson had 18 points on a career-high six treys, and buried a long contested triple to force the second extra session. Javis Howard reached double figures for the fifth straight game, notching 16 points and eight rebounds.
CSU head coach Barclay Radebaugh was pleased with the resiliency his team displayed. The Bucs will look to snap a five-game losing streak when they host Presbyterian on Thursday.
"Longwood made a play or two more than we did and that was the difference," Radebaugh said. "I applaud our guys because they keep competing and working. Things haven't always gone our way but they're playing hard and coming to work every day in practice and on gameday. It's been really nice to see the growth of our young players as well. It was just another game where we didn't make quite enough shots to win."
Longwood held a 76-73 lead in the second overtime, before Robinson knotted the score at 76 apiece with a clutch three. The score stood there until White drove the lane and connected on two free throws after being fouled by Patrick Wallace. Robinson's three on CSU's ensuing possession fell off the mark, but Obi-Rapu's outlet pass sailed off the hands of Shaquille Johnson, giving the Bucs a chance at the win with 5.3 seconds left. Potter got a clean look from just outside the top of the key as time expired, but could not connect.
Obi-Rapu had two threes in the first overtime to aid Longwood's cause. Nwogbo's jump hook gave the Lancers a three-point advantage with 1:24 left, but Robinson tied the game and forced five more minutes with a deep three with exactly a minute to play. White missed two chances at game-winning jumpers in the waning seconds.
Neither team led by more than four after the final ten minutes of regulation. Potter hit a tough corner three while being fouled to put the Bucs in front, 61-59, at the 2:57 mark. Longwood scored the next four points to go back ahead, 63-61, on a Johnson jumper with 1:07 left. Howard scored off a pretty dish from Potter to tie the score at 63 apiece, but missed the free throw for a three-point play. Aaron Wheeler forced a tie-up with a blocked shot on the Lancers ensuing trip, providing CSU a chance to prevail. Potter created a good look just inside the elbow that would not fail, prompting overtime.
Longwood led 36-35 at halftime and pushed its edge to six early in the second stanza on a Darien Allen triple. Potter connected on two free throws and Robinson canned a three to provide a 53-49 CSU edge during one of the Bucs better sequences of the half.
CSU hit four of its first five shots to take a 10-3 lead at the 17:19 mark of the first half. Robinson drilled a pair of threes, and Reuben King knocked down a jumper to key the early spurt. King had an active opening half, recording six points and six rebounds, including three on the offensive glass.
CSU out-rebounded Longwood by six in the first stanza, and by a 46-38 count overall, including a 15-6 margin on the offensive boards. Longwood worked its way back from the early seven-point deficit, in part, by recording a 11-0 advantage in points off turnovers in the opening half. CSU finished with 16 turnovers total, while Longwood committed 15.
CSU remains at home to play Presbyterian on Thursday. Tipoff at the Buc Dome is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. The Bucs downed the Blue Hose by a point in Clinton on Jan. 20.