CHARLESTON, S.C. - Brianna Lakes capped a fourth quarter Charleston Southern comeback with a jumper from the left corner with 57 seconds left on the clock as the Buccaneers topped visiting Gardner-Webb in the Buc Dome on Saturday afternoon, 66-63.
The Bucs (12-14, 7-10) trailed by as many as seven points early in the fourth quarter before mounting their comeback with Lakes providing six of her eight points in the quarter. CSU brought the game back to within one point at the 3:52 mark following a pair of Alecia Hardy free throws, narrowing the gap down to 57-56.
Ke'Asia Jackson gave the Bucs the lead that the 1:44 mark with a jumper, but GWU's Candace Brown answered on the other end to give the Runnin' Bulldogs (17-10, 11-6) the 59-58 lead with 1:22 remaining. Lakes answered on the other end to give the Bucs the lead for good off the pass from Shauntavia Dobson.
CSU went 6-for-6 from the free throw line over the final 37 seconds with Dobson and Alyssa Mann converting all of their attempts from the charity stripe as the Bucs split the season series with Gadner-Webb.
"It was a team effort today," said CSU head coach Fred Applin following the game. "We had good fight throughout the contest and everybody executed. We did it as a team, which is the best way to win a game."
Four Buccaneers were in double-digits in the scoring category led by Hardy's 11 points. Jackson and Dobson both had 10 points off the bench for the Bucs, while Mann added 10 points and five assists in a team-high 37 minutes in the CSU victory.
Key to the Bucs' success was their prowess at the free throw line on the afternoon. CSU went 15-of-16 from the stripe in the contest including hitting their final 10 from the line in the win. The Buccaneers' bench also came up big in the CSU win with the Bucs outscoring the Runnin' Bulldogs 39-7 in the game.
"Tonight was probably the best that we have shot free throws this season," said Applin. "Our defense was really solid today and our bench played a big role in today's game."
Charleston Southern continues Big South Conference play on the road this week as the Bucs travel to Buies Creek, N.C. and Gore Arena to take on Campbell on Tuesday night. Tipoff on the Big South Network is set for 7 p.m.
The teams set a fast pace early in the contest with six ties and seven lead changes over the first quarter. Neither team had more than a three-point advantage in the quarter with Jackson hitting a jumper at the 3:59 mark to give CSU the 10-7 lead. Alexus Hill connected on a three-pointer at the 2:47 mark to put GWU up 13-10, but CSU rallied back to tie the game up at 16-16.
The Buccaneers scored the first 13 points of the second quarter with Dobson putting the final touches on the run with a three-pointer and a layup to spot CSU the 29-16 lead with 4:30 left in the half. Gardner-Webb brought the game back to within eight before the break on a pair of Candace Brown free throws as CSU went into the half leading 34-26.
The Runnin' Bulldogs came out of the break with a run of their own to erase the halftime deficit as GWU went on a 16-4 run to start the second half. Hill scored eight points during the stretch for the Runnin' Bulldogs and finished with 13 points in the third quarter as GWU went up by as many as eight at 47-39 at the 1:47 mark on their way to taking a 49-45 lead into the fourth.
GWU stretched the lead out to seven points with 8:51 remaining before the CSU run put the Bucs over the top in the Buc Dome.
Hill led the Runnin' Bulldogs with 20 points, shooting 8-for-11 from the floor including 4-for-4 from behind the arc in the loss. Brown added 18 points, while Parker had 15 points and 14 rebounds in completing the double-double.