RADFORD, Va. - Charleston Southern's defensive efforts were not enough to help the Buccaneers offset Radford's rebounding advantage as CSU fell to the Highlanders on Tuesday night in the Dedmon Center, 54-40.
Ke'Asia Jackson led the Bucs with 11 points and was one of three Bucs (8-10, 3-6) with three steals in the game as CSU had 14 steals and forced 23 Radford turnovers in the contest. However, the Bucs were only able to connect on 23.7% of their field goal attempts and shot a season-low 6.7% from the three-point line in the Big South loss.
Elyse Kiploks had six points, eight rebounds and three steals in a team-high 34 minutes for the Bucs in the contest continuing her strong play over the last eight games, while Nayla Long added three steals and three rebounds in the game. Alyssa Mann had six points and a pair of steals in her first action back from an injury suffered on January 4 against High Point, while Monique Maximilien added three blocked shots to pace the CSU defensive efforts.
Gaby Gilmore led Radford's (10-7, 6-2) scoring efforts in the game with 22 points as the Highlanders shot 39.5% from the floor. Aisha Foy added 13 points including going a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line, while Alexis Jackson scored 10 points off the bench for the Highlanders.
Billed as a game featuring the Big South's top three-point shooting team in Radford (35.5%) and the top three-point defense in the league in CSU (24.8%), the Bucs defense prevailed over the Highlanders in limiting Radford to a 3-for-14 (21.4%) night from behind the arc.
Charleston Southern takes the weekend off before returning to the Buc Dome next Tuesday to face Campbell. Tipoff between the Bucs and the Camels on the Big South Network is set for 7 p.m.
The Bucs came out gunning early as Long scored the first points of the game on a layup, while Mann connected on a three-pointer and a jumper to give CSU the 7-4 lead. The Highlanders responded with a pair of Gilmore jump shots to take the 8-7 lead with 2:36 left in the first quarter. Radford ended the period with a pair of Rachael Ross free throws to hold the 10-9 lead at the break.
The Highlanders' lead reached 14-9 following four straight Gilmore points and the Highlanders held a six point advantage with 3:36 left in the second quarter following another Gilmore layup. Jackson added two late free throws for the Bucs, but a pair of Radford baskets in the final two minutes gave the Highlanders the 25-17 lead at the half.
Maximilien came out of the half with four straight points for CSU and Kiploks added a layup, before Foy put the Highlanders on the board with a three-pointer. Radford's lead reached double-digits late in the third quarter as CSU trailed 39-26 at the end of the period.
CSU started the fourth period strong from the free throw line as Jackson and Breanna Saunders combined to hit 3-for-4 from the free throw line and Jackson added a jumper at the 8:38 mark to narrow the margin down to 39-31. However, that was as close as the Bucs were able to get the rest of the way in falling to the Highlanders.