Miami, Fla. – Charleston Southern dropped a 77-70 decision to FIU in a back-and-forth contest on Sunday at the Ocean Bank Convocation Center.
CSU fell to 2-3 on the season following the defeat, while FIU improves to 2-4 with the win. Ke'Asia Jackson led CSU in scoring with 17 points, while Njeri Nelms added 16 points. Shauntavia Dobson was also in double-digits with 10 points in the loss.
FIU took an early 11-9 lead on a Callie Cavanaugh jumper with 4:40 left in the first quarter. A Shante Walker layup gave the Panthers a 16-12 lead, before Nelms connected on a jumper to cut the lead to two points at the end of the first quarter.
Two Walker free throws capped off a 7-0 FIU run to open the second period as the Panthers led 23-14 with 5:16 remaining. Jackson hit a jumper to trim the FIU lead to 26-22. The Panthers stretched the lead back out to 30-22 before Nelms connected on a three-pointer to send the teams into the half with CSU trailing by five.
CSU opened the third quarter on an 8-0 run as Rachel Burns converted a traditional three-point play to put the Bucs ahead 38-35. Burns added a trey to give CSU a 43-39 lead with 2:24 to play in the third quarter. Dobson connected on a pair of free throws to keep the margin at four with 1:09 remaining. FIU scored six straight points to close the period and put the Panthers ahead 49-47 at the end of the third frame.
Jackson scored the first six points for CSU in the fourth quarter with a pair of free throws giving the Bucs a 53-51 lead. Nelms added a jumper to give CSU the 57-54 lead with 6:18 left in the contest. Shelby Wilbanks connected on a layup to put the Bucs back in the lead, 59-58, with 4:40 remaining. Alexis Gordon reeled off three trifectas in the next three minutes as FIU took a 69-65 lead. Nelms converted a free throw attempt to cut the lead to 71-68, but the Panthers were a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line in the final minute to close the game and seal the win.
Inside the Numbers
· Ke'Asia Jackson had a season-high 17 points on 6-19 from the field and 5-5 from the free throw line. Jackson added two rebounds and one assist.
· Njeri Nelms had 16 points on 7-15 from the field. Nelms had three rebounds, three assists and three steals.
· Weknyne Dumorne had a team-high nine rebounds. Dumorne had six points on 2-2 from the field and 2-2 from the free throw line.
News and Notes
· CSU dropped back-to-back games for the first time this season.
· Shauntavia Dobson was named to the All-Tournament Team after scoring ten points against FIU. Dobson had a season-high 17 points against Hartford on Saturday.
· Charleston Southern continues its three-game road stretch on Saturday at Clemson after opening the season with three straight home games.
CSU returns to action when it travels to play at Clemson on Saturday, December 2 at 2 p.m. The Bucs then return home for a meeting with South Carolina State on December 11.