WILMINGTON, N.C. - An early Jacksonville State run held Charleston Southern off as the Buccaneers fell in the first game of the 2014 Seahawks Hampton Inn Christmas Invitational, 70-43.
The Bucs closed out the contest with a 13-0 run over the last 2:10 of the game paced by four late points by Christal Barnett and a three-pointer from Alecia Hardy from the left wing to help CSU build momentum toward their Saturday afternoon contest against tournament host UNC Wilmington. The Bucs and Seahawks tipoff at 2 p.m. tomorrow in the tournament finale inside Trask Coliseum.
CSU struggled from the floor in the contest, shooting 28.1 percent from the floor, but the Bucs started to connect late in hitting five of their last six shots during the stretch. Alise Karlsone started the stretch with a jumper and Marley Brown and Shauntavia Dobson also connected on baskets in the final two minutes in the loss to the Gamecocks.
Hardy led the Bucs on the afternoon with a career-high 10 points as the freshman guard broke double-digits for the first time in her collegiate career. Barnett added eight points and three rebounds, while Alyssa Mann had seven points and five boards in the Bucs' loss.
CSU falls to 3-6 overall on the season with the loss to Jacksonville State, while the Gamecocks improve to 7-3 overall with the win.
In a battle between teams who had previously only faced off once against each other in program history, Jacksonville State wasted little time in jumping out on the Bucs as the Gamecocks scored the first 13 points of the game before a Tatum Jarvis jumper put CSU on the board at the 13:00 mark. Jacksonville State's lead reached as many as 28 points in the first half as Miranda Cantrell connected on a jumper in the paint with 15 seconds remaining. Barnett drove in for the layup at the buzzer to send the teams into the break with JSU leading 42-16.
The JSU lead reached as many as 40 with 2:22 remaining in the game as Leah Strain drove in for the layup to put the Gamecocks ahead 70-30, before CSU went on a 13-0 run to close out the contest.
Destiny McLin led the Gamecocks with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Cantrell also completed the double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Briana Benson was also in double-digits with 12 points as Jacksonville State shot 35.6 percent from the floor and held the 61-37 advantage on the glass in the win.