FARMVILLE, Va. – Charleston Southern concludes its regular season Saturday at Longwood. Tipoff at Willett Hall is slated for 2 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on the Big South Network. Fans can also listen to the game on csusports.com.
Big South Championship Scenarios: CSU knows it will be playing at home Tuesday night in the first round of the 2017 Big South Championship. Still unknown is the Bucs' seed and opponent. CSU will be the No. 7 seed with a win over Longwood and a Campbell loss to Radford. It will be the No. 8 seed with a loss to Longwood and a Campbell win. If both teams lose, the seeding will hinge on the result of the Gardner-Webb-High Point game. A Gardner-Webb win would give Campbell the 7-seed in that scenario, while a High Point win would force an RPI tiebreaker. The latest RPI report will be published Sunday morning. Longwood is locked into the No. 9 seed in the 10-team tournament, while Presbyterian is the No. 10 seed.
CSU (10-18, 6-11 Big South) made the over four hour drive to Longwood (6-22, 3-14 Big South) Friday morning following its 86-72 Thursday night loss to first-place Winthrop. Longwood fell at first-place Liberty, 61-45, on Thursday. The injury-saddled Lancers have lost 14 straight games since starting league play 3-0. Ten of those defeats have come by double digits, with six decided by 20 points or more.
A victory would give CSU three wins in four games heading into the Big South Championship. The Bucs gutted out one-possession triumphs over Campbell and High Point last week but were not at their best against Winthrop. CSU dug itself a 30-13 hole and trailed by double digits for much of the second half against the Eagles' veteran, high-powered attack.
Longwood actually led Liberty 24-21 late in the first half but went into halftime down by five and mustered only 19 second half points. The Lancers are playing with only seven scholarship players but do feature a high scoring trio in Khris Lane (16.5 PPG – 5th Big South), Darrion Allen (14.2 PPG – 8th Big South) and Isaiah Walton (13.8 PPG – 10th Big South).
CSU rolled to a 76-61 win over Longwood at the Buc Dome on Jan. 21. Powered by Christian Keeling's 28 points, the Bucs never trailed and led by as many as 18 points. Javis Howard posted a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds in the contest. CSU posted +9 advantages in both points off turnovers (23-14) and second-chance points (18-9). Isaiah Walton scored 20 to pace Longwood, but the Lancers were held to 40 percent shooting and harassed into 16 turnovers.
More of the same from Keeling
Christian Keeling recorded his ninth 20-point game and fourth double-double Thursday against Winthrop. Keeling hit for 28 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. He got to the free throw line often, converting 12 of 16 attempts. Keeling was named Big South Freshman of the Week for the sixth time this past Monday. He is tied for sixth in scoring among Division I freshmen. The Augusta, Ga., product is one of the only freshmen in the nation to lead his team in scoring (17.1 PPG) and rebounding (6.8 PPG), pace all conference freshmen in those categories and rank top-ten league-wide in each (4th scoring; 6th rebounding).
Keeling scoring at historic level
On Thursday, Keeling (478 points) passed Omar Carter as CSU's highest scoring freshman during Barclay Radebaugh's 12-year tenure as head coach. Twenty-two more points would make Keeling just the sixth freshmen in the Big South's 33-year history to reach 500 points.
Potter regaining scoring touch
Armel Potter tallied 18 points in the loss at Winthrop, marking the fifth straight game and eighth time in nine games he's reached double figures scoring. Although he has taken a back seat in the scoring column to Keeling, Potter is still the Bucs' second-leading scorer at 12.1 PPG. Potter averaged 13.9 PPG per game last season, earning a spot on the All-Big South Freshman Team.
CSU trails the all-time series, 5-4. Longwood had won three straight in the series prior to that game, with two coming in the Big South tournament. Longwood joined the Big South for the 2012-13 season, five years after becoming a full-fledged Division I member.