MBB PREVIEW: Buccaneers continue home stand with key Thursday night match-up against USC Upstate

MBB PREVIEW: Buccaneers continue home stand with key Thursday night match-up against USC Upstate

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern has two home games left in the 2018-19 season as the Buccaneers prepare to welcome USC Upstate on Thursday night in the Buccaneer Field House. Tipoff between the Bucs and the Spartans is set for 7:30 p.m. on ESPN+.

CSU MBB Game Notes - vs. USC Upstate*

The Buccaneers (12-13, 6-6 Big South) will look to continue to improve their standing as they head into the final two weeks of conference play. CSU is currently in sole possession of seventh place with four games to play in the regular season. The top five teams earn a bye in the conference's postseason quarterfinals, while seeds 6-8 will host first-round games on Tuesday, March 5.

CSU will be looking to avoid hosting for the third consecutive season as the Buccaneers sit a game behind both Gardner-Webb (7-5) and High Point (7-5) for the fifth position in the conference rankings. Key wins, such as the Buccaneers' 53-52 victory over Radford this past Saturday will play a role in CSU's postseason fortunes.

Freshman guard Dontrell Shuler continued his late-game heroics this season as the Columbia, S.C. native provided a key defensive stop and hit a pair of late-game free throws on his way to pace the Bucs to the 53-52 win. Charleston Southern's defense posted its most complete game of the 2018-19 season this past Saturday as the Buccaneers limited Radford to 28.8% shooting from the floor and 17.9% from the three-point line.

USC Upstate (6-22, 1-12 Big South) struggled in its latest matchup. The Spartans dropped an overtime, 83-79, loss to Longwood in Farmville, Va. Jure Span, Pat Welch, Ross Ryan, and Dalvin White all set new career-high scoring marks in the contest to pace the Spartans.

CSU Quick Hits
- Charleston Southern has won five of its last seven games heading into the Thursday night contest against USC Upstate.

- The Buccaneers are in sole possession of seventh in the Big South regular season standings with four games left to play.

- USC Upstate and UNC Asheville are the final two home opponents for the Buccaneers this season with next Wednesday's (Feb. 27) home contest against the Bulldogs set for Senior Day.

- Christian Keeling is 12 points away from becoming the third Buccaneer in CSU history in posting the career statistics line of 1,500 points and 500 rebounds.

- Keeling would join Ben Hinson (2,295 points, 688 rebounds, 1983-87) and T.L. Latson (1,518 points, 704 rebounds, 1992-96) as the lone Bucs to accomplish the feat.

- CSU is looking to continue its success at home as the Bucs have posted an 8-4 record in the Buc Dome in 2018-19.

- Key to CSU's win over Radford this past Saturday was the late game heroics from Dontrell Shuler as the freshman blocked a shot and converted the game-winning free throws in the victory.

- Five different Bucs scored double-digits in CSU's 90-71 win over USC Upstate in the first matchup between the teams back on February 2nd.

- CSU shot 57.6% from the floor in the win.

- A win on Thursday would be the 600th victory in CSU men's basketball program history.

USC Upstate Quick Hits
- USC Upstate was picked 11th overall in the Big South Men's Basketball preseason poll announced at the conference's media day. The Spartans received 64 points overall in their first preseason ranking as a member of the Big South Conference.

- Upstate joined the Big South as a full member over the summer of 2018 transitioning from the Atlantic Sun Conference. The Spartans joined fellow newcomer Hampton (MEAC) as new members to the conference this season.

- The Spartans picked up their first Big South win of the season on January 26 as Upstate topped Longwood, 80-63.

- Since USC Upstate's win, the Spartans have dropped four games in a row with losses to CSU, Campbell, UNC Asheville, and Longwood.

- USC Upstate has posted a 1-13 record away from home this season with their lone win coming at Western Michigan.

- Malik Moore leads the Spartans with 16.7 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Deion Holmes is also in double-digits with 14.1 points per game.

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