Women's Basketball

CSU defeats Longwood in Big South first round; Advances to face top-seeded Liberty on Friday

CSU defeats Longwood in Big South first round; Advances to face top-seeded Liberty on Friday
 
LYNCHBURG, VA – Charleston Southern used hot shooting to defeat Longwood, 72-62, in the first round of the Big South Championships on Thursday evening at the Vines Center.
 
CSU shot 43.6% (24-of-55) from the field and 43.8% (7-of-16) from behind the three-point arc as the Bucs built a 19-point halftime lead and held on to knock off the Lancers.
 
No. 8 seed CSU (11-19, 5-13) moves on to face top-seeded Liberty in the quarterfinals on Friday at noon. No. 9 seed Longwood (7-23, 5-13) saw its season come to a close with the loss.
 
The Bucs stormed out of the gates to take a 9-3 lead following Ke'Asia Jackson's jumper with 5:28 left in the first quarter. Longwood cut the score to 9-7 before CSU went on an 8-0 run that was capped with a Burns three-pointer. Autumn Childress connected on a trey with nine seconds left to trim CSU's lead 17-10 at the end of the first frame.
 
Dobson' layup put CSU ahead 24-14 with 4:49 remaining in the second period. The teams traded baskets as Stephanie Guihon's jumper narrowed the margin to 26-18. CSU closed the half with a 15-4 run, including Nelms' layup at the buzzer, to give CSU a 41-22 lead at halftime.
 
Longwood opened the third quarter on a 10-2 run to cut the Bucs' lead to 43-32 as Que King converted on a free throw attempt with 4:46 to go in the period. CSU responded with a 12-1 run of its own to grab a 55-33 lead following a Burns free throw. Dobson drilled a trifecta with two seconds left to give the Bucs the 58-36 lead at the end of the third stanza.
 
Charleston Southern's lead grew to 63-38 following a Nelms triple. Longwood answered by stringing together 11 straight points to cut the margin to 63-49 following a Mallory O'Dell free throw conversion. The Lancers continued the 19-2 run as Micaela Ellis connected on a layup with 1:14 remaining to trim the CSU lead to 65-57. Longwood came within seven points in the closing minute, but CSU closed the game hitting seven of their final 10 attempts from the free throw line to secure the win and a punch a berth into Friday's quarterfinals.
 
Jackson led four Buccaneers in double-figures with 16 points, while Wilbanks (14), Nelms (13) and Burns (12) all scored in double-digits. Autumn Childress led the Lancers with a game-high 22 points and 15 rebounds.
 
Inside the Numbers
·     Ke'Asia Jackson scored 16 points on 5-of-12 from the field, 2-of-4 from behind the three-point arc and 4-of-4 from the free throw line.
·     Shelby Wilbanks scored 10 of her 14 points in the first half as she shot 7-of-9 from the floor in the game.
·     CSU secured the win by shooting 77.3% (17-of-22) from the free throw line, while Longwood shot only 59.1% (13-of-22) from the charity stripe.
·     CSU's seven made three-pointers was the most for the Bucs since recording nine three-pointers in a win over Winthrop on January 16.
 
News and Notes
·     CSU wins its Big South tournament opener for the third straight season.
·     The Bucs complete the season sweep of the Lancers after defeating Longwood in all three meetings this season.
·     CSU faces Liberty in the Big South Championships quarterfinals for the second year in a row. The Bucs were the No. 5 seed and knocked off fourth-seeded Liberty, 52-50, last season in the tournament opener for both teams.
 
Up Next
CSU will face top-seeded Liberty at the Vines Center on Friday at noon. The game will be streamed on ESPN3.

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