ASHEVILLE, N.C. – UNC Asheville had a game-winning layup at the buzzer in overtime as the Bulldogs defeated the Buccaneers, 71-69, on Tuesday at Kimmel Arena.
Ali Trani collected the ball off an offensive rebound with three seconds to go as her putback at the horn gave Asheville a thrilling win in the extra session.
CSU falls to 10-14, 5-8 following the defeat, while UNC Asheville improves to 13-11, 10-3 with the win. Rachel Burns led all scorers with 24 points, while Shauntavia Dobson and Njeri Nelms added 11 points each for the Bucs.
Charleston Southern had a buzzer-beater of its own in regulation as Nelms drilled a three-pointer from the top of the key at the horn to tie the game 60-60 and force the extra period.
The Bucs got off to a fast start in overtime as CSU scored five straight points to take a 65-60 lead on a Jackson jumper. Asheville responded with a 5-0 run to tie the game 65-65 on Jessica Wall's three-pointer with 2:11 remaining in the extra session. Tierra Steede's jumper put CSU ahead 69-67 until Trani knocked down two free throws to square the score at 69-69 with 53 seconds to go. Following a defensive stop, UNC Asheville inbounded the ball with 11 seconds left and Wall's three-pointer was off mark. Zip Scott's offensive rebound was deflected into Trani's hands to set up the late game heroics.
Asheville jumped out to an early 14-3 lead on Nadiria Evans' layup with 3:19 to play in the first quarter. CSU closed the period on a 9-4 run to cut the margin to 18-12 at the end of the first frame.
Burns' traditional three-point play ended a CSU scoring drought of over three minutes as the Bucs trailed 18-15. Dobson's trifecta gave CSU its first lead since 1-0 as the Bucs led 26-24 with 1:55 left in the second period. Khalia Webb's layup with 13 seconds to go put Asheville ahead 29-28 at halftime.
Both teams opened the third quarter with hot shooting as Wall's triple gave the Bulldogs a 41-36 lead. A Burns three-pointer made Asheville's lead 47-41 with 3:08 to go in the period. The teams were tied 48-48 at the end of the third stanza.
UNC Asheville burst in front 54-48 following six straight points to open the fourth frame. CSU trailed 56-50 when the Bucs strung together a 6-0 run of their own to tie the contest 56-56 on Jackson's jumper with 3:14 left in regulation. Trani made 1-of-2 free throws to put Asheville ahead 58-56 until Dobson also knocked down 1-of-2 from the line to make it 58-57 with seven seconds to go in the period. Following two Wall free throws, Nelms went the length of the floor and used a stutter-step to create separation before sinking the game-tying trey.
Inside the Numbers
- Rachel Burns scored 24 points in 40 minutes of playing time. Burns shot 6-of-15 from the field and 11-of-13 from the line, while adding seven rebounds, three steals and two assists.
- CSU scored 27 points off turnovers compared to UNC Asheville's 15 points.
- The Bucs went deep with 10 players seeing action as CSU's bench outscored the Bulldogs' reserves, 23-13.
- In a physical game, Asheville won the battle on the boards with a 45-30 rebounding advantage.
News and Notes
- Burns moved into 11th place all-time at CSU with 157 career steals.
- The Bucs tripled the Bulldogs' team block total with six blocked shots as CSU has recorded five straight games with a greater than or equal amount of blocks as its opponent.
- CSU dropped its second straight Big South road game as it fell to 3-9 away from the Buc Dome.
- Charleston Southern sits in a tie with Presbyterian for seventh place in the Big South standings. The top six seeds earn a first round bye in the Big South Women's Basketball Championship on March 8-11 at Liberty in Lynchburg, Va.
CSU returns to action when it hosts Gardner-Webb on Saturday at 3 p.m.