CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern got over a halftime hump to defeat Big South leader Campbell, 60-43, in their fifth consecutive home win on Tuesday night.
"It was a great team effort and we never gave up," CSU Head Coach Fred Applin said. "Our team believed in the system that we are running offensively and defensively, and I'm very proud of them."
The Buccaneers (13-9, 7-4) were paced by sophomore duo Rachel Burns and Ke'Asia Jackson. Burns led the way with a game-high 23 points and matched a career-high with four three-pointers, while Jackson scored 20 points and a game-high four steals.
Charleston Southern struggled over the first 20 minutes, shooting just 32 percent from the floor to trail Campbell (16-6, 8-3) 31-18 at the end of the first half. After a low-scoring first quarter, the Fighting Camels posted 25 points in the second, sparked by three three-pointers from Caroline Bowns and seven points from MaKala Rouse. Both players led Campbell with nine points apiece on the night.
Campbell opened the second half with a layup from Bria Emanuel and Summer Price split a pair of free throws to extend a 14-0 Camels run as CU built a 34-21 lead. Burns got the Bucs over their scoring drought with a layup and the extra point at the free throw line to spark a 13-0 CSU scoring run. The Bucs outscored the Fighting Camels 42-12 in second half, shooting an impressive 65 percent from the floor in the comeback.
"We know we are a comeback team and that the second half could be ours, so we took it," Burns said. "Words can't describe how great it feels to beat the top team in the league."
Campbell struggled to maintain ball control during the second half, recording 14 of its 22 overall turnovers in the final twenty minutes of the contest. After outrebounding CSU 24-11 in the first half, Brianna Lakes help turn things around for the Buccaneers' defense and give CSU the 16-10 board advantage in the second half. Lakes finished the night with a game-high nine rebounds.
"Coach Applin is always emphasizing rebounding and limiting the other team's second chances," Lakes said. "Once our rebounding improved in the second half, we were able to keep them from scoring and finish strong."
Jackson gave CSU its first lead since the second quarter with a layup and added a free throw to put the Buccaneers up 40-37 at the end of the third quarter. Burns extended the Bucs' lead with two three-pointers in the first two minutes of the fourth and Jackson followed with CSU's next five points to give CSU the double-digit lead.
"Rachel really got our scoring run started," Jackson said. "I started to score after and our entire team gained momentum, and eventually, a lead we didn't let go of."
Price brought Campbell back to a single-digit deficit with a bucket from beyond the arc to put the score at 51-43 with four minutes. Her basket would be the Camels' final basket of the night as CSU closed out the night with a nine unanswered points and several trips to the foul line to give Campbell its third conference loss of the season.
"We're on a mission as a team and we have a goal, but I think wins like tonight really help our players understand they can compete with any team in our conference," Applin said.
The Buccaneers now turn their attention to this weekend as they travel to Radford to face the Big South leader on Saturday afternoon. Tipoff at the Dedmon Center is set for 2:00 p.m. on the Big South Network.