CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern fell behind early and Savannah State held off a late Buccaneers challenge inside the Buc Dome as CSU fell to the Tigers on Thursday night, 72-63.
CSU freshman forward Tatum Jarvis narrowly missed out on her first career double-double in leading the Buccaneers with 25 points and nine rebounds in the game to pace the Buccaneers offensive efforts on the night. However, a quick 9-0 start by the Tigers in the contest gave Savannah State a lead they would never relinquish as SSU completed the season sweep over the Buccaneers.
"Coming into the game, we told them to compete," commented head coach Fred Applin on the Buccaneers' effort in the game. "We executed everything we did. It came down to rebounding. That's something that we are going to continue to work on after Christmas, but I can't ask for much more. They really competed and played well tonight."
In a game that featured a combined 49 team fouls and 63 free throw attempts, Savannah State was able to put the Buccaneers away from the line, converting on 23 of their 36 shots, including five makes in the final two minutes to put the game away in the win.
Charleston Southern falls to 3-6 overall with the loss to the Tigers, while Savannah State improves to 5-5 overall with their second win of the season against the Buccaneers.
Jarvis led Charleston Southern in going 7-for-10 from the floor including a perfect 3-for-3 from behind the three-point line in the loss. The freshman forward was also 8-for-12 from the free throw line in scoring a career-high 25 points.
"I think Tatum [Jarvis] is a really good shooter," Applin had to say following the game. "Our freshmen came in off the bench and played very, very well. I challenged everyone on the team: I want everyone on the bench excited; players, coaches, trainers--it doesn't matter. I wanted everyone just going crazy. That is the energy we want every night from our team."
Erin Bratcher and Alyssa Mann were also in double-digits in the game for Charleston Southern with Bratcher scoring 12 points in the game, while Mann recorded her second consecutive double-digit scoring effort with 11 points in the game.
"I'm happy the way we played," Applin closed out with. "You know, it's a loss, and you are always disappointed in that. But sometimes in these games you can really learn a lot and it will help you down the road. I think this will help us as we get into conference play."
Ezinne Kalu led Savannah State in the victory, scoring 19 points in the game. Kalu added six steals in the contest, pacing the Tigers in forcing 23 CSU turnovers in the game, which led to 25 Savannah State points. Tiyonda Davis completed a double-double on the evening, finishing with 10 points and 10 rebounds in the game.
The Tigers jumped out to a 9-0 lead over the first four minutes of the game as Jasmine Norman connected on a pair of short jumpers. Davis drove in for a layup and completed the three-point play to spark SSU to the nine point advantage with 16:09 left in the first half before Erin Bratcher put the first points on the board for the Buccaneers with a three-pointer from the left corner on CSU's following possession.
Bria Dorsey put the Tigers up by 10 with a layup as Savannah State went ahead 13-3 with 14:40 on the clock as SSU's advantage remained at least three possessions throughout the remainder of the first half. Savannah State's lead reached 12 points with 4:35 remaining in the half, but DJ Fowler connected on a three-pointer as the Buccaneers and Tigers traded baskets the remainder of the half as CSU went into the break trailing 41-32.
Charleston Southern continued to battle back and forth with the Tigers in the second half, as Savannah State went up 13 points with 17:09 remaining as Jasmine Kirkland drove in for the layup in building a 49-36 lead. CSU brought the game back to within eight points three minutes later with an 8-3 run as Bratcher connected on another three-pointer to narrow the margin to 52-44.
Down 65-51 following a three-pointer by Kalu with 7:25 remaining, the Buccaneers mounted their final run in the game.
Charleston Southern cut the deficit down to seven points, going on a 9-2 run capped by Brianna Lakes driving in for the layup and converting a free throw attempt in bringing the game back to within 67-60. A layup by Kalu was answered by a Jarvis layup, before Fowler connected on a free throw attempt to bring the Bucs back within two possessions at 69-63 with 1:07 to play in the game.
However, the Buccaneers shooting went cold over the final minute and Savannah State converted three free throw attempts to close out the game in taking home the 72-63 victory.
Savannah State won the battle of the boards with the 42-34 advantage and the Tigers had the 15-5 edge in the steals category in the loss.
The Buccaneers return to the road when they come back from the break, returning to Big South Conference play as Charleston Southern heads to Radford, Va., to take on the Highlanders on December 28th. Tipoff between the Bucs and Highlanders inside Dedmon Center Arena is set for 2 p.m.