CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern enters the Big South Championships hoping to finish the season strong.
No. 8 seed CSU faces No. 9 seed Longwood in first-round play on Thursday at Liberty in Lynchburg, Va. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on the Big South Network, with the winner advancing to play top-seeded Liberty in Friday's quarterfinals.
Charleston Southern head coach Fred Applin said that despite recent struggles, the Buccaneers still have a lot to play for in conference tournament. CSU defeated Longwood in both of the regular season meetings and has matched up well with the Lancers.
"We have to know their personnel," Applin commented. "We have to know where their shooters are going to be. Longwood is a team that can shoot the basketball very well. We have to play for forty minutes and I think the first four minutes of the game, we have got to dominate and take care of the basketball."
CSU (10-19, 5-13) is coming off an 81-58 defeat to Presbyterian on Saturday. Despite a team-high 21 points from Rachel Burns, CSU dropped its seventh straight contest.
Longwood (7-22, 5-13) is fresh off a 90-60 win over Winthrop on Saturday. Autumn Childress led the Lancers with a game-high 24 points and 15 rebounds.
Charleston Southern defeated Longwood, 73-57, in the Big South opener on January 2 in Charleston. CSU completed the season sweep by knocking off the Lancers, 78-61, on February 3 in Farmville, Va.
- Charleston Southern and Longwood are tied 8-8 in the all-time series. However, the Bucs have won the last seven meetings over the Lancers. The last win for Longwood over CSU came on February 28, 2015 when the Lancers defeated the Bucs, 58-51.
- Five CSU players are averaging 8.0 or more points per game. Njeri Nelms leads the Bucs with 9.9 points per game, while Rachel Burns (9.3), Weknyne Dumorne (9.1), Shelby Wilbanks (9.1) and Ke'Asia Jackson (8.5) round out the top five in scoring.
- The Bucs have won two straight Big South Championships openers. CSU defeated Longwood in the first-round of the 2016 conference tournament, 72-50. The Buccaneers defeated Liberty, 52-50, to start tournament play in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Big South Championships.
- CSU has recorded 12 wins in Big South tournament play since the tournament's inception following the 1986-87 season.