LYNCHBURG, VA – Charleston Southern was unable to overcome a second half Liberty surge as the Buccaneers fell to the Flames, 80-53, in the Big South Championships Quarterfinals on Friday at the Vines Center.
No. 8 seed CSU concludes the regular season with an 11-20 record, while top-seeded Liberty improves to 22-9 with the win. Njeri Nelms led the Bucs with 11 points, while Shauntavia Dobson added 10 points.
Liberty grabbed an early 6-0 lead before CSU responded with five straight points as Weknyne Dumorne's layup cut the Flames' advantage to 6-5 with 4:40 to play in the opening period. Dobson drilled a three-pointer with 25 seconds to go as the Bucs led 12-9 at the end of the first frame.
The Flames opened the second quarter strong as KK Barbour's tip-in put Liberty ahead 22-15. CSU responded with an 8-2 run that was capped off with a Tierra Steede layup to trim the margin to 24-23 with 3:51 left in the period. The Flames continued to power the ball down low as Liberty gained a 34-25 advantage following Ola Makurat's layup with 1:22 to go. Liberty held a 36-26 lead at halftime.
The Bucs continued to fight in the third quarter as Rachel Burns knocked down two free throws to trim the Flames' lead to 41-32. Liberty answered with a 13-5 run to close the period as Nene Johnson's layup with two seconds to go put the Flames ahead 57-39 at the end of the third stanza.
CSU pulled within 61-45 following a Dobson trifecta with 5:57 to play in the game. It was all Liberty for the remainder of the contest as the Flames used a 19-8 run to close the game and seal the win.
KK Barbour led Liberty with 18 points and nine rebounds, while Keyen Green and Ola Makurat added 12 points each.
Shauntavia Dobson Postgame
- Njeri Nelms scored 11 points on 2-of-3 shooting from the floor, while connecting on both of her three-point attempts and making 5-of-10 from the free throw line. It was the fourth time in the last five outings that Nelms has scored in double-figures.
- Shauntavia Dobson had 10 points on 3-of-6 from the field, 2-of-4 from behind the three-point arc and 2-of-4 from the free throw line. It was Dobson's tenth game of the season with double-digit scoring.
- CSU shot 40.5% (17-of-42) from the field and 40.0% from three-point range, while Liberty shot 50.8% (31-of-61) from the floor and 25.0% (3-of-12) from behind the three-point arc.
- The Flames powered the ball down low as Liberty had a 52-22 advantage in points in the paint.
- Liberty used its size to control the battle on the boards as the Flames snagged 43 rebounds compared to CSU's 16 boards.
- Weknyne Dumorne recorded three of the Bucs' five blocked shots, while Liberty had only one team block.
- Charleston Southern fell in the Big South Championships Quarterfinals for the second time in the last three seasons.