CHARLESTON, S.C. – Ke'Asia Jackson scored a game-high 23 points to pace Charleston Southern past Winthrop in a 71-52 home victory on Saturday afternoon.
"I feel great," Jackson said. "It's a win and it's what we needed. We had a lot of players come off the bench and put up points for us today, and I like to get them involved as much as possible. I love to feed off of my teammates, so when they score, it makes me want to score even more."
Jackson had her ninth perfect performance from the stripe, sinking 7-of-7 from the charity line and solidifying her spot as the leading free-throw shooter in the Big South and one of the top-10 in the NCAA.
"I've been working on my free throws non-stop and I'm going to keep trying to be the best in Division I Women's Basketball," Jackson added. "All I'm thinking about when I'm taking those shots is that they have to go in."
Jasmine Blackmon also scored double-digits for the Buccaneers (8-7, 2-2) with a career-high 14 points in the paint and sinking seven of eight basket attempts (87.5%) from the floor. Alyssa Mann recorded a team-high seven assists in a game where nine CSU players contributed points.
"It's always good to have the younger players come in and get playing experience," Mann said. "Today, I had a rough time shooting, so I figured if I couldn't get hit my shots, maybe I could help someone else get theirs."
The Buccaneers topped Winthrop (1-15, 0-4) in every quarter and held the offensive advantage, shooting 40.0% against the Eagles' 34.3%. CSU's Shauntavia Dobson and Breannah Bretches scored the only three-pointers of the game and added a combined 10 points in the Buccaneer victory. Charleston Southern's defense did not disappoint, forcing 13 Winthrop turnovers in the first half that the Bucs would capitalize on for a 31-20 lead at halftime. Brianna Lakes and Rachel Burns attacked the boards to share a team-high seven rebounds in the contest.
"It was a great team win," said CSU Head Coach Fred Applin. "We needed some people to step up and our bench really helped us out and proved they can perform well for us."
Winthrop was paced by the double-double performance of Erica Williams. The senior guard/forward recorded 15 points and 15 rebounds in the Eagles' loss.
Charleston Southern maintained their double-digit halftime lead as Blackmon closed out the third quarter with three consecutive baskets off of passes from Mann and Jackson, scoring her 10th point and giving the Buccaneers a 52-34 lead going into the final ten minutes of the contest.
Winthrop continued to struggle with ball control in the fourth quarter, recording 19 total turnovers. The Buccaneers kept the momentum with back-to-back buckets from Tierra Steede for their biggest lead of the game, pulling ahead 60-34 with 6:56 left on the clock. The Eagles were only able to cut the Bucs' lead down to 19 in the final quarter as Williams recorded five points in the final minutes, while Danyael Goodhope and Marissa Cantrell added baskets as time expired. Blackmon scored the Buccaneers' last two baskets of the game to close out the 71-52 CSU victory.
The Buccaneers now turn their attention to the week ahead as they travel to Presbyterian College for a Tuesday night conference matchup. Tipoff at Ross E. Templeton Center is set for 7:00 p.m. on the Big South Network.