CHARLESTON, S.C. – Njeri Nelms scored a career-high 20 points, while Shelby Wilbanks added a season-high 16 points and six rebounds to lead Charleston Southern to a 79-43 win over Erskine on Thursday at the Buc Dome.
CSU improves to 1-1 following the win, while Erskine fell to 1-3 with the loss. The Bucs were 27-57 (47.4%) from the field and 10-20 (50%) from the three-point line.
Charleston Southern jumped out to an early 10-4 lead on a Shauntavia Dobson three-pointer with 4:36 left in the first quarter. A Wilbanks jumper with 1:01 to go gave CSU a 15-13 lead at the end of the first frame.
Erskine cut the lead to 20-18 after Christian Brown knocked down two free throws with 4:55 remaining in the second quarter. A Nelms three-pointer with 54 seconds left gave CSU a 31-24 lead at halftime.
The Bucs opened the third quarter on a 15-2 run that was capped off by two Rachel Burns free throws with 4:41 left in the period. CSU's lead grew to 58-30 following a Wilbanks three-pointer with 1:01 to go. The Flying Fleet scored the next four points to trim the score to 58-34 at the end of the third frame.
A Cailah Hicklin free throw put Charleston Southern in front 67-36 with 4:59 remaining in the contest. A Cassell three-pointer extended the lead to 70-38 with 3:47 left in the game. CSU led 73-43 on a Kelsie Ruff-Mills layup with 1:26 to go. Skyler Hatfield's trey with eight seconds in the game put the cap on the Bucs first win of the season.
Inside the Numbers
- Njeri Nelms shot 8-11 from the field and 4-6 from the three-point line. Nelms added two assists and one steal.
- Shelby Wilbanks shot 5-6 from the field and 5-8 from the free throw line. Wilbanks added one assist and two steals.
- Lexii Cassell had 11 points and three rebounds. Cassell added three assists and three steals.
- Rachel Burns and Cailah Hicklin each had a career-high 11 rebounds.
News and Notes
- CSU bounced back with a win after falling in the season opener for the third consecutive season.
- Charleston Southern had 11 players see action on Thursday. Four freshman (Skyler Hatfield, Cailah Hicklin, Kailya Jackson and Kelsie Ruff-Mills) saw their first playing time as a Buccaneer.
- The Bucs defeated Erskine for the fourth consecutive time.
CSU hosts Coppin State on Monday, November 20 at 8 p.m. in its third straight home game to open the season. The Bucs then travel to play in the FIU Tournament on Nov. 25-26 in Miami, Fla.