HIGH POINT, N.C. - Charleston Southern held off a late charge by High Point on Saturday afternoon as the Buccaneers picked up their second Big South Conference win in a row and third on the road this season with the 56-53 win inside the Millis Center.
The Buccaneers were again led by the outside shooting of senior guard Erin Bratcher as she connected on five three-pointers on the night in scoring a game-high 19 points as Charleston Southern topped the Panthers. The five triples gave Bratcher 12 on the week as CSU followed up their win against Campbell on Thursday night in holding a double-digit lead over the Panthers for a majority of the contest, before HPU's final run in the closing minutes.
Charleston Southern led by as 13 points on two separate occasions in the contest, going up 42-29 with 15:33 remaining following a Tatum Jarvis three-pointer and the Bucs held the nine point lead with seven minutes to go following another Jarvis jumper. However, back-to-back three-pointer by High Point's Kaylah Keys jumpstarted a Panthers run HPU cut the CSU advantage down to three points less than a minute later.
High Point narrowed the margin down to three points on four separate occasions over the final five minutes, with the final coming in the closing seconds as DeAnneisha Jackson grabbed the offensive rebound and put in the layup to put the score at 56-53 with six ticks remaining on the clock. The ensuing possession saw the Panthers foul both DJ Fowler and Anicia Dotson and though both of CSU's free throw attempts bounced out, High Point was unable to get off the desperation heave to send the game to overtime as Charleston Southern closed out the Big South victory.
Charleston Southern improves to 6-9 overall, 3-4 in Big South play on the year, while High Point falls to 8-8, 4-3 in conference action with the loss.
Bratcher, in her first game back from setting the Gore Arena record with seven three-pointers in the CSU win against Campbell, connected on three triples in the first half and finished the contest with 19 points. She also finished with six rebounds as the Buccaneers held the 46-44 rebounding edge over High Point in the game.
Jarvis was also in double-digits off the bench for the Bucs with 13 points, including a perfect 3-for-3 from behind the arc, while DJ Fowler filled the stat sheet with 12 points, five assists, five rebounds and two steals in 39 minutes' action for CSU. Dotson was also among the CSU leaders on the afternoon with a team-high 10 rebounds and a blocked shot, to go with six points.
Keys led the Panthers with 18 points on the night, including 11 in the second half in sparking the comeback attempt from High Point. Jackson was also in double-digits with 10 points and three blocked shots, while Stacia Robertson had a career day in the paint for HPU with a game-high 15 rebounds and three blocks.
High Point took the first points of the game on Robertson's layup, but the Buccaneers answered with a 10-1 run in taking control of the contest early. Dotson put the Bucs on the board with a jumper, while Bratcher drained her first two three-point attempts to put CSU ahead 10-3 with 15:15 on the clock in the first half.
The CSU lead reached double-digits six minutes later as Jarvis connected on her first three-pointer, before Bratcher drove in for the layup and Rochelle Brophy connected inside, giving Charleston Southern the 21-9 lead with nine minutes remaining in the half. The Panthers responded by rattling off six in a row to halve the margin following a pair of Latrice Phelps' free throws, cutting the score to 21-15 with 6:46 on the clock.
Fowler ended the HPU run with a pair of free throws and followed up with the steal and layup to stretch CSU's lead back out to 10, before Bratcher drained her third triple of the half at the 4:28 mark to give the Bucs their largest lead of the game at 28-15. The teams traded baskets the remainder of the half with Jarvis putting in the final basket at the 1:03 mark with a layup off the offensive rebound as CSU held the 32-20 halftime advantage over the host Panthers.
The second half saw the Buccaneers hold their double-digit lead throughout the first six minutes of the half as Bratcher connected on her first triple of the half to put the score at 35-25. The CSU lead would reach 13 points at the 14:28 mark as the Buccaneers went up 42-29 following Jarvis' three-pointer.
The lead went back into double-digits on Bratcher's final triple of the night at the 13:13 mark, giving the Bucs the 45-33 lead. Ashante Richard followed with a jumper in the paint and Phelps and Keys followed with back-to-back layups to narrow the CSU margin down to six points less than two minutes later, giving way to the Panthers final run in the game.
Charleston Southern won despite shooting only 31.7 percent from the floor in the contest as the Buccaneers took advantage of 17 High Point turnovers in recording the 19-12 advantage of points off turnovers.
CSU returns home and takes a step out of the action next week as the Buccaneers host Trinity Baptist on Thursday evening inside the Buc Dome. Tipoff between the Bucs and the Eagles is set for 7 p.m. Charleston Southern is back in Big South action next weekend, hosting Coastal Carolina on Saturday afternoon, with tipoff at 2 p.m.