Women's Basketball

WBB Game Preview: Big South First Round – USC Upstate

WBB Game Preview: Big South First Round – USC Upstate

Tuesday, March 12
CSU vs. USC Upstate
Buc Dome – Charleston, S.C.
7 p.m. | Live Stats | ESPN3 | Tickets
CSU Notes (PDF)

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern earned the No. 7 seed in the 2019 Big South Women's Basketball Championship after a 9-9 season in conference play and 79-67 win on Saturday over Longwood.

CSU and USC Upstate meet for the third time this season with the Bucs seeking a trio of wins after a sweep in the regular season. Tuesday's matchup is the first between CSU and the Spartans in the Big South Tournament with the Spartans making their postseason debut as the No. 10 seed.

A win would send the Buccaneers to High Point for the quarterfinals and semifinals rounds with the championship game Sunday to be played at the highest remaining seed.

CSU looks to keep their streak in the first round alive having won back-to-back games in the Opening Round - both coming against Longwood. CSU has also won their first game in the tournament - First Round or Quarterfinals - in three-straight postseason appearances taking down No. 4 Liberty two seasons ago in the quarters.

Last Time Out

  • Four of the five Charleston Southern seniors that saw the floor finished the game in double figures, and the Bucs rolled to a 79-67 win over Longwood behind a strong second half to close the regular season.
  • CSU saw another big performance from the senior class of Ke'Asia Jackson, Rachel Burns, Breannah Bretches, Shelby Wilbanks and Lexii Cassell as they never trailed for the fourth time this season. Longwood was led by 14 points from Dayna Rouse and 11 from Ciarah Bennett, but were plagued by turnovers in the loss.
  • Both teams struggled to get the offense going with just a 16-8 score through the first, but a second-half surge flipped the switch as both squads finished above .400 and CSU shooting a blazing .517.
  • Wilbanks and Jackson paced the offense with 15 points each while Bretches added 13 and Dumorne added 12 for the Bucs. Wilbanks also pulled down a team-high seven boards and Dumorne dished out five assists and picked off three Longwood passes.

Scouting the Spartans

  • Junior point guard Brianna Lewis finished the regular season as the Big South's third-leading scorer averaging 16.0 points per contest. Lewis is joined by Riley Popplewell (11.3 ppg) and DeNisha Swain (10.7) as the go-to trio making up 61% of the Spartans' offense.
  • In their two matchups, Lewis scored 15.5 points per contest while dishing out 4.0 assists. Lewis scored a team-high 22 points in the 78-75 decision played at G.B. Hodge Center handing out six assists and stealing six Buccaneer passes.
  • After shooting .453 in the first matchup, USC Upstate was held to .371 from the floor in the rematch in the Buc Dome. CSU got out to a 27-point second-half lead and never trailed before the Spartans closed the gap in the final moments.
  • Despite the shooting struggles in the second matchup, the Spartans knocked down an average of 9 treys led by 10 from Michaela Gibbons in the two games.

A Win on Saturday Would

  • Give the Bucs three wins over the Spartans this season after a regular season sweep.
  • Be the first three-game win streak for CSU in the all-time series.
  • Be the third-straight First Round win for the Bucs and fourth-straight 1-0 start to the Big South tournament.
  • Advance the Bucs to the quarterfinals round for the fourth-straight season.
  • Give the CSU senior class four wins in the tournament.
  • Send the Bucs to High Point for a third matchup with the Panthers and second inside the Millis Center.
  • Give head coach Fred Applin his fourth Big South Conference Tournament win.
  • Make the Bucs 2-0 all-time versus the No. 10 seed in Big South tournament history.

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