CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern bids for its first 5-2 start since the 2011-12 season when the Bucs visit Marquette on Tuesday in Milwaukee. Tipoff at the Fiserv Forum is slated for 8 p.m. ET, and the game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Wisconsin. Fans can also listen to coverage on csusports.com.
CSU (4-2) comes off a 93-67 rout of Coppin State, while Marquette (4-2) enters off a 77-74 win over former conference rival Louisville in the NIT Season Tip-Off at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. The contest is the third between the two programs, with the previous two Marquette victories in 1990 and 1992. This is just CSU's fourth-ever game against a current member of the Big East Conference.
The Bucs delivered perhaps their best offensive performance of the opening month to run away from Coppin State on Friday. Christian Keeling led the way by authoring the second triple-double in program history, but Duncan LeXander and Deontaye Buskey also came through with career scoring highs. The duo combined to go 10-for-16 from three-point range, and scored 33 of CSU's 46 first half points to help forge an 18-point halftime lead.
CSU will likely need to shoot well to keep up with a potent Marquette attack led by junior guard Markus Howard, a Second Team All-Big East pick a year ago. Howard is averaging nearly 20 points a game and tallied 21 and five assists in Friday's win over Louisville. Sam Hauser, whose brother Joey is the Golden Eagles' third-leading scorer, is averaging over 17 points per game on the strength of 41 percent (20-48) three-point shooting. Marquette's only losses thus far have come to Indiana and by nine to No. 2 Kansas.
Tuesday's game will be CSU's second straight against an opponent coached by a former ACC great. Steve Wojciechowski is in his fifth season leading Marquette, and directed the Golden Eagles to the 2017 NCAA Tournament. As a guard at Duke from 1994-98, Wojciechowski was a two-time All-ACC choice and the 1997-98 National Defensive Player of the Year. CSU's last opponent, Coppin State, is coached by former Maryland standout Juan Dixon.
CSU currently ranks third nationally in forced turnovers, causing 20.8 per game. Only Florida International and New Orleans have forced more. The Bucs have created 99 turnovers in their four wins, including 34 against Trinity Baptist, 30 against Columbia International and 20 against South Carolina State. CSU was very active in that department a year ago, ranking 17th nationally while pacing the Big South Conference in turnover margin. CSU is currently 15th with a +6.0 turnover margin.
Keeling records triple-double
Keeling posted the second triple-double in CSU history with a 20-point, 12-assist, 11-rebound effort against Coppin State. He is one of only five Division I players to achieve the feat this season. Keeling's 12 assists shattered his previous career high of five. The only other triple double in CSU history was turned in by Tony Fairley (12 points, 22 assists, 10 steals) on Feb. 9, 1987.
Keeling back in Milwaukee
Keeling worked out with the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks last May after entering his name into the NBA Draft process. He decided to return for his junior season, and has already jumped from 21st to 19th on CSU's career scoring chart. Keeling is just 25 points from taking over 18th place, and 152 from entering the top ten. Last year, Keeling earned Second Team All-Big South honors while becoming just the fifth player in conference history to surpass 1,000 career points as a sophomore.
LeXander and Buskey break out vs. Coppin State
Duncan LeXander (23 points) and Deontaye Buskey (20 points) each set new career scoring highs in the Coppin State win. The duo combined for 33 points in the first half to help CSU build a 46-28 halftime lead. Overall, they combined to go 10-for-16 from three-point range. LeXander buried his first five treys and finished 6-for-7 from downtown. Buskey finished 4-for-9 from distance. The Bucs' point guard was just 12-for-40 from three as a freshman, but is already 9-for-24 this year.