CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern made sure Travis McConico's final regular season game in the Buccaneer Field House was never in doubt as the Buccaneers took control early in their 77-48 win over UNC Asheville.
The Buccaneers (14-14, 8-7 Big South) never trailed in the contest and led by as many as 32 points as CSU turned in another dominant defensive performance. The Bucs limited Asheville (4-25, 2-13 Big South) to 3-of-18 shooting over the final 16 minutes of the game and forced 18 Bulldog turnovers in completing the season sweep.
Christian Keeling led four Buccaneers in double-digits with 16 points and added seven rebounds and five assists in the win. Nate Louis (12), Dontrell Shuler (11) and Deontaye Buskey (11) all scored double-digits, while Phlandrous Fleming recorded eight points, six assists, and three blocked shots in the win.
DeVon Baker was Asheville's bright spot offensively as he matched Keeling with 17 points to lead UNC Asheville. The Bulldogs shot 34.7% from the floor as a team and 29.4% from the three-point line in the loss.
McConico, recognized in a pregame ceremony for Senior Day, finished with five points, three rebounds, and two steals.
How It Happened
- UNC Asheville tied the game up at 4-4 with 17:09 remaining in the first half as Coty Jude connected on an early Bulldog three-pointer.
- The Bucs rallied back with 10 of the next 11 points as Fleming connected on five free throws and Keeling drilled a three-pointer to put the Bucs ahead 14-5 at the 12:10 mark.
- CSU's lead hovered around the double-digit mark before crossing the threshold on a McConico layup with 4:08 to play in the first half put the Bucs ahead 24-13.
- The first half lead reached as much as 17 as Keeling drove in for a layup with 47 seconds left in the half as the Bucs went into the break leading 36-21.
- UNC Asheville was able to narrow the Charleston Southern lead down to 11 at 47-36 with 15:58 to play as DeVon Baker connected on the third Bulldog three-pointer over the first 4:02 in the second half.
- CSU responded with a 17-0 run over the next five minutes with Nate Louis highlighting the stretch with a trio of three-pointers to put the Bucs ahead 62-36.
- Charleston Southern's lead reached 30 at 72-42 with 5:44 remaining as Ty Jones tipped in a Keeling miss.
- Timmy Sellers followed on the next CSU possession with a jumper in the lane to give the Bucs their largest lead at 74-32 with 4:30 to play.
- Sellers capped CSU's final score with a layup with 24 seconds to play as the Bucs closed out the 77-48 win.
News & Notes
- Charleston Southern completed the season sweep over UNC Asheville following the 77-48 win over the Bulldogs on Wednesday night. CSU previously topped the Bulldogs, 85-75, in Asheville, N.C. back on February 9.
- It marked CSU's second Big South sweep this season having previously topped USC Upstate both in Spartanburg (90-71, Feb. 2) and Charleston (Feb. 21, 92-60).
- The Bucs' 29-point win over the Bulldogs tied for the 10th-largest margin of victory over a NCAA Division I opponent with their 286-57 win over Campbell back on February 21, 2015.
- Wednesday marked the fourth consecutive game the Bucs have held their opponent under a 40.0% shooting percentage.
- Christian Keeling reached double-digits for the 27th time this season and the 81st time in his career.
- CSU posted over 20 assists for the fifth time this season.
- The Bucs turned the ball over only seven times, one off their season low set back on January 5 against High Point.
- CSU's double-digit three-point five-game streak ended on Wednesday as the Bucs were 9-of-28 from behind the three-point line.
- Nate Louis reached 10 consecutive games with a three-pointer following his 4-for-5 performance from behind the arc against the Bulldogs.
- Charleston Southern improved to 8-7 in Big South play sitting tied with High Point for sixth in the conference standings with one game to play.
- The Bucs could potentially rise as high as fourth in the conference standings depending on how games play out on Saturday.
They Said It
"I thought we played very well. There's still a lot of work to do between now and Saturday. It's a big game for us so we have to get focused on Presbyterian. I thought we came out in the second half and were as bad defensively as we could possibly be in the first four minutes. After that, it was the best defense and maybe the best we've played all year. Our guys got into their stance and worked. We have continued to improve defensively over the last few weeks and I am really proud of our defensive effort tonight." – Head Coach Barclay Radebaugh
"Kind of unreal to think it might have been my last game here at home. I loved every second of it. I love my teammates because of the all the positive energy they pour into me." – Senior forward Travis McConico
Charleston Southern closes out the 2018-19 regular season on the road as the Buccaneers make the trip to Clinton, S.C. and the Templeton Center for a Saturday afternoon contest against Presbyterian. Tipoff against the Blue Hose on ESPN+ is set for 4 p.m.