Keeling's game-winner propels Buccaneers past Presbyterian, 85-84

Keeling's game-winner propels Buccaneers past Presbyterian, 85-84

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Christian Keeling hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 12 seconds remaining to close out a fast-paced final minute of the game as Charleston Southern held off visiting Presbyterian in the Buc Dome on Thursday night, 85-84.

Adam Flagler converted a pair of free throws with 19 seconds left to put PC (13-11, 5-4) ahead 84-82 and giving PC its first lead since the 9:12 mark in the second half. On the ensuing possession, Keeling came off the screen from Travis McConico and launched the ball from the top of the key. His shot hit nothing but net to swing the advantage back to the Bucs.

Dontrell Shuler provided pressure on Davon Bell on PC's final possession of the game and his buzzer-beater hit off the left side of the rim to secure CSU's (9-11, 3-4) second consecutive conference win and third Big South win of the season.

Keeling scored a team-high 21 points off the bench with the junior guard hitting 8-of-9 from the floor and 4-of-5 from the three-point line in 23 minutes. He added five rebounds and two blocked shots in the win. Ty Jones (6-of-7, 14 points), Nate Louis (18 points) and Duncan LeXander (14 points) were also in double-digits for CSU in their third consecutive win over the Blue Hose.

PC's Francois Lewis led all players with a game-high 25 points including five three-pointers. Adam Flagler added 15 points, while Bell (11) and Cory Hightower (10) were also in double-digits for the Blue Hose.

How It Happened

  • Presbyterian held an 11-point lead at the halftime break after shooting 65.4% from the floor and 66.7% from the three-point line in holding the 51-40 advantage.
  • The lead hit 14 following a Lewis three-pointer at the 19:15 mark in the second half before the Buccaneers battled back.
  • Back-to-back three-pointers by Louis and LeXander sparked a 17-2 run over the next four minutes with Travis McConico sinking the and-1 at the 15:26 mark to give the Bucs the 57-56 lead.
  • Flagler, LeXander, and Keeling traded three-pointers over the next four minutes before another Keeling triple at the 11:08 mark put the Bucs ahead 66-63.
  • Presbyterian took the lead with 9:12 remaining in the contest as Lewis converted the second of two free throw attempts to put the Blue Hose ahead 69-68.
  • Ty Jones swung the advantage back to the Bucs with a jumper on the ensuing CSU possession as the Bucs went on a 9-1 run capped by a Deontaye Buskey three-pointer.
  • The Blue Hose continued to battle back with Romeo Crouch connecting on a three-pointer with 47 seconds remaining to tie the game up for the sixth and final time.
  • After a Bucs turnover led to a pair of free throws by Flagler, Keeling stepped up and delivered the game-winner for CSU.
  • Charleston Southern had the hot hand early with the Bucs hitting their first five three-pointers on their way to building the 20-7 lead with 15:30 left in the first half.
  • Nate Louis connecting on his first three from distance and was 5-of-7 from behind the arc in the first half for the Bucs.
  • PC battled back late in the first half with JC Younger tying the contest at 30-30 with 7:07 remaining following his three-pointer.
  • The Blue Hose closed out the half on a 21-10 run with Hightower converting a pair of free throws to send PC into the half with the double-digit lead.

Inside the Numbers

  • Charleston Southern's 17 made three-pointers tied the third-most in a single game in program history and was the most for the Bucs since CSU hit 19 against High Point in the 2015 season. The Bucs mark tied the 17 hit against VMI on Jan. 12, 2008, and 17 against Liberty on Jan. 14, 2015.
  • Nate Louis' 18 points were a career-high for the junior guard, eclipsing his previous high of nine set earlier this season at Hampton.
  • Ty Jones was back in double-digits for the fifth consecutive game as the sophomore forward continued his torrid stretch. After shooting 6-of-7 tonight, Jones has connected on 33 of his last 45 shots from the field – good for a 73.3% field goal percentage over the stretch.
  • Jones leads the Big South with a 70.6% field goal percentage in conference play this season.
  • Christian Keeling's 21-point effort was his eighth 20-plus point game of the season and 29th of his career.
  • Keeling's 21 points off the bench were CSU's first 20-point game off the bench since Dontrell Shuler scored 20 at North Florida on December 15.
  • CSU improved to 22-8 all-time in the series against the Blue Hose, while Coach Barclay Radebaugh improved to 18-4 against PC in his lifetime.
  • Nate Louis' six made three-pointers tied for the most by a Buccaneer this season with Duncan LeXander who achieved the mark against Coppin State back in November.
  • Three of CSU's four Big South home games have finished in one-point contests. Wednesday night against PC was the Bucs' first win, while the previous two came on Saturday losses to High Point (51-50) and Campbell (73-72).

Coach's Comments
"That is a really good team, a well-coached team with a lot of pieces. This is a really good win for us because of the quality of the opponent. It was a tale of two halves. We couldn't solve the riddle in the first half. It was a real challenge. We had to be within shouting distance at the half. We were able to do that. We were barely there, had to shout a long way, but we were close enough." – Head Coach Barclay Radebaugh on the win over Presbyterian.

"It's up there. This was a great team effort. Glory to my teammates and my coaches for keeping me up, keeping my confidence. The main goal is to win. Whatever role coach wants me in, I'm going to be grateful. It's not about me, it's about us." – Christian Keeling on the final shot.

Up Next
Charleston Southern starts the month of February on the road with a Saturday contest at USC Upstate. Tipoff in the G.B. Hodge Center is set for 4:30 p.m. on ESPN+.

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