CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern wraps up its 2015-16 home schedule on Saturday against Campbell. The Bucs will honor seniors Reuben King, Jabbar Washington and Aaron Wheeler prior to the 5:30 p.m. tipoff.
CSU (9-18, 5-11 Big South) faces its second consecutive quick Thursday-Saturday turnaround against a Campbell (11-15, 4-11 Big South) team it defeated in Buies Creek on January 16. CSU enters off an 84-76 loss to Gardner-Webb, while Campbell thumped Allen University, an NAIA opponent, 110-66, on Tuesday. The Fighting Camels have won three straight games following a ten-game losing streak.
CSU had its chances at a victory in front on an ESPNU television audience against Gardner-Webb. The Bucs shot 50 percent in the first half, pushed in front with a 7-0 run to start the second half, and still led as late as the 8:45 mark. Gardner-Webb's offense ultimately would not be slowed down, though, as it registered a 10-0 run as part of a 57 percent shooting performance to pull away.
Aaron Wheeler was sensational in defeat for the Bucs, tallying a career-high 31 points while making 11 of 16 shots. Wheeler nailed a pair of threes to keep CSU close late in the first half, and had steals that led to a layup and a dunk as the Bucs attempted to rally from a 13-point deficit in the closing minutes.
Game of runs goes CSU's way in Buies Creek
CSU ripped off a 19-2 run to erase a ten-point deficit en route to topping Campbell, 82-75, on January 16. The Bucs held Campbell without a field goal for over seven minutes during that decisive sequence for victory number two in a three-game winning streak.
Rae Robinson knocked down threes from the left corner, left wing and top of the key in a span of 1:46 to kick-start CSU's rally. He had 11 of a then career-high 19 points during that surge, and finished 4-of-6 from downtown.
Wheeler scored a then career-high of 19 points as well in the first matchup. He rattled off 11 of the Bucs first 13 points of the second half to keep them within striking distance.
Campbell looking to peak at right time
Campbell hosts the Big South Tournament, and is looking to cap an arduous regular season on a high note. The Fighting Camels were 0-10 in the new year until defeating Gardner-Webb in overtime on February 11.
Kevin McGeehan's team followed with routs of Presbyterian and Allen, and comes to the Buc Dome in search of its fourth straight victory. Campbell is shooting almost 62 percent over its last three games.
Big South's best freshmen?
Charleston Southern's Armel Potter and Campbell's Chris Clemons are two of the top candidates for Big South Freshman of the Year honors.
Clemons' 18.7 PPG average ranks fourth in the Big South, and sixth among freshmen in the entire country. He's tallied ten 20-point efforts, including a 26-point showing against CSU a month ago.
Potter, CSU's leading scorer throughout the entire season, is averaging 19.8 PPG over his last six games. He leads all Big South freshmen in assists and assist-to-turnover ratio, and is among the conference's overall top-six in each of those categories. Potter has posted 11 performances of 18 points or more. The Marietta, Ga. product had 12 of his 14 points after halftime in CSU's comeback win at Campbell.
CSU will conclude its regular season at Coastal Carolina on Thursday. Campbell hosts Radford and Winthrop next week to conclude its campaign. Both the Bucs and Fighting Camels will play in the opening round of the Big South Tournament on Thursday, March 3.