CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern begins their 2018-19 women's basketball campaign Tuesday evening, looking for their fifth win in home openers under Fred Applin.
The Bucs finished last season as the No. 8 seed heading into the Big South Tournament and defeated No. 9 Longwood 72-62 before falling in the quarterfinals to eventual champion and No. 1 seed Liberty.
CSU sees the return of six strong seniors, who look to lead CSU to new heights and make another deep run in postseason play. Since coming to campus, this senior class has advanced at least one round in each Big South Tournament with a semifinals appearance in the 2016-17 season.
- Charleston Southern opens its 14-game home schedule inside CSU Field House for the 2018-19 season, as the Buccaneers welcome Converse for an evening contest Tuesday
- CSU is 5-1 in its home debut inside the Buc Dome under Fred Applin. The Bucs' lone loss came last season to Lipscomb of the Atlantic Sun by a 58-54 score. CSU had been 5-0 against non-Division I foes to open their home slate before last season.
- Leading the charge for the Bucs are seniors Breannah Bretches, Rachel Burns, Lexii Cassell, Weknyne Dumorne, Ke'Asia Jackson and Shelby Wilbanks. Both Burns and Dumorne were named Preseason All-Big South players with both making the second team. Dumorne led the conference with 2.0 blocks per contest a season ago and Burns is the leading-returning scorer coming off a junior season in which she averaged 9.3 points per game.
- Before last season's loss, Charleston Southern had won 10-straight to open the Buc Dome slate. In their program-best 18-win 2016-17 season, CSU began the year 5-0 inside the friendly confines with victories over Southern Wesleyan, Paine, South Carolina State, Georgia Southern and Montreat.
Scouting the Valkyries
- Converse is coming off a program-best 2017-18 season collecting nine wins - the most since making the jump to Division II. Head coach Dean Walsh has led the Valkyries to program-highs in back-to-back seasons.
- A coaching veteran who has spent time on the bench at Gardner-Webb of the Big South and Austin Peay of the Ohio Valley, has the program moving forward. He already has the most wins as a head coach in Converse history in just four seasons.
- The Valkyries set plenty of records last season including steals (263), single-game assists (28), single-game steals (19), free-throws made in a single game (33), three-point field goals made (12) and single-game field goal percentage (.508).
- Converse sees the return of leading scorer Abigail Lewis, who turned-in 12.4 points per contest (18.2% of team's scoring) as she made a jump by nine points from her sophomore to junior seasons. Lewis shot .506 from the floor and had a career-best 27 points against North Greenville.
- Lewis finished 5th in field goal percentage and 13th in points per game in the Conference Carolinas last season.
Last Time Versus Converse
- Four Buccaneers finished the game in double figures led by DJ Fowler's game-high 18 point, three-rebound, five-assist and nine-steal performance. Fowler also played a team-high 28 minutes in the win as nine CSU athletes played 10-plus minutes.
- Tatum Jarvis and Erin Brachter both hit four treys to lead CSU from deep as Fowler added the other two baskets from downtown. Jarvis finished second with 17 points while Brachter added 14 and Anicia Dotson collected 12.
- CSU shot a blazing .515 from the floor and .385 from deep while forcing 27 Valkyrie turnovers and brought down 17 offensive boards. Dotson missed a double-double by just one rebound.
- The Bucs shot above .500 in both halves connecting on 14-of-28 in the first half and 20-of-38 in the second.
- CSU leads the all-time series against Converse 1-0 with the lone matchup coming in mid-November 2013 – Fred Applin's second season as the Buccaneer head coach.
- Converse head coach Dean Walsh gets his first look at CSU as the Valkyrie bench boss. Walsh spent time in the Big South previously serving as an assistant coach at Gardner-Webb in 2012-13.
- Just like Tuesday's contest, the first matchup came inside the Buc Dome with CSU coming away with an 88-48 victory led by four players in double figures – DJ Fowler, Tatum Jarvis and Erin Bratcher.