CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern held off visiting UNC Asheville in a physical game inside the Buc Dome behind Tatum Jarvis' first career double-double as the Buccaneers knocked off the Bulldogs on Monday night, 70-57.
Alyssa Mann added a career-high 17 points in the contest as the Bucs' duo sparked a CSU offense that built an 18 point lead midway through the second half on their way to closing out their first Big South win of the season.
"Tatum (Jarvis) came out and really played both ends of the court tonight," said CSU head coach Fred Applin. "She played a full forty minutes of basketball and that is what I've been looking for. Alyssa (Mann) also did a really good job tonight; she was aggressive and got banged around but she directed everything. Everyone came in and played hard for the win."
Jarvis, whose previous career-high was 25 points set last season on the road at Savannah State, scored a game-high 29 points and pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds for her first career collegiate double-double. Monique Maximilien added 10 rebounds for the Bucs as CSU held the 25-15 advantage on the boards in the second half on their way to closing out the win.
"In the first half, Asheville out-rebounded us," commented Applin. "It surprised me because I think we are a good rebounding team when we want to be. We wanted to win this game tonight and we figured it out in the second half."
In a physical contest that featured a combined 59 team fouls, the Buccaneers took advantage of their opportunities from the free throw line shooting a combined 26-of-34 (76.5%) from the stripe to keep the Bulldogs at bay. Five different CSU players hit multiple free throw attempts led by Jarvis' 9-of-14 performance from the stripe, while Mann (6-of-6), Nayla Long (4-of-4) and Alecia Hardy (4-of-4) were all perfect from the line.
"I challenged our team in practice, I've challenged them in the last few days, and I'm going to keep challenging them until our final game," said Applin. "It was all a team effort tonight. Everybody stepped up and that is what we wanted from day one. I kept telling our team to keep believing in what we are doing and they fought hard tonight."
Mann added seven assists to her totals, while Maximilien had a game-high three blocked shots as the Buccaneers defense applied pressure to the Bulldogs in forcing the visiting Asheville squad to shooting 34.0% from the floor in the game.
Mann connected on the opening basket of the game as the redshirt sophomore guard hit a three-pointer on CSU's opening possession and the Bucs defense held Asheville scoreless from the field until the 15:31 mark as the Bucs opened the game on an 8-1 run. Bronaza Fitzgerald ended the stretch with a layup as Asheville brought the game back to within one on back-to-back jumpers by Brittany Gwyn to put the score at 8-7 with 13:06 remaining in the first half.
Jarvis drilled her second three of the game on the ensuing CSU possession, sparking a 10-1 run to give the Bucs their first double-digit lead of the game at 18-8 at the 8:15 mark. The Bucs lead reached 12 with 5:39 to play on pair of free throws from Alyssa Mann, but the Bulldogs fought their way back into the game.
Asheville went on an 11-3 run to bring the game back to within four at 29-25 with 1:33 left in the half before Long and Karlsone both hit a pair of free throws to send the Bucs into the break leading 33-25.
The Bulldogs made their final push early in the second half as back-to-back three-pointers from Tianna Knuckles pulled Asheville back within two at 35-33 with 17:47. Mann and Jarvis responded with six straight points to stretch out the Bucs lead and CSU was never in danger the rest of the way, going up 18 on a layup by Maximilien to put the score at 57-39 with 6:12 to play.
Over the final four minutes of the contest, the Bucs went 9-of-12 from the free throw line to keep the margin at double-digits in closing out the 70-57 home win.
Knuckles was the lone UNC Asheville player in double-digits on the night with 11 points as the Bulldogs struggled from the free throw line hitting only 17-of-37 (45.9%) from the stripe.
Charleston Southern returns to the road this week as the Bucs continue Big South Conference play at Campbell on Thursday night in Buies Creek, N.C. Tipoff inside Gore Arena between the Bucs and the Camels is set for 7 p.m.