CHARLESTON, S.C. – A spot in the 2019 Big South Women's Basketball semifinals is on the line Thursday night as Charleston Southern gets a third shot at No. 2 seed High Point after coming within minutes of two key wins during the regular season.
The Bucs enter the Millis Center winners of three-straight, all coming by double digits over Winthrop, Longwood and USC Upstate. Seniors Shelby Wilbanks, Ke'Asia Jackson and Rachel Burns have been scoring machines as of late while junior Tierra Steede has seen a jump in offense with her first two career starts.
High Point looks to defend their home court one more time after finishing the regular season 14-1 in the Millis Center with their lone blemish coming to regular-season champion Radford. The Panthers boast the highest-scoring offense in the league and have been dangerous at home.
CSU can reach the semifinals for the 11th time in program history with a win Thursday and look for their first four-game win streak of the season as they've caught fire with eight wins in their past 10 games since February 1.
Last Time Out
- Led by a swarming defense and four players in double figures, the Charleston Southern women's basketball team cruised to a 67-52 Big South Women's Basketball Championship First Round win over USC Upstate from the Buc Dome.
- Four players finished the game in double figures for CSU as Shelby Wilbanks, Ke'Asia Jackson, Breannah Bretches and Tierra Steede made it three-straight wins for the Bucs while Michaela Gibbons and Natala Panufnik ended the night in double figures for USC Upstate.
- The Spartans came out shooting .438 from the floor and held a 20-18 lead after 10 minutes, but a defensive stranglehold over the next 20 minutes flipped the script and gave the Bucs a 24-point second-half lead. In the second and third quarters, CSU outscored the Spartans 34-11 and used 23 turnovers for 25 points on the other end.
- After the up-and-down first quarter, CSU put their foot on the gas thanks to Jackson's 14 points and 21 Spartan turnovers to race past USC Upstate 49-32 over the final 30 minutes.
Scouting the Panthers
- Senior guard Emma Bockrath has been the face of the High Point Panthers since stepping foot on campus setting many school records. She paces the offense with nearly 17 points per game and does nearly everything for the Panthers.
- CSU was able to effectively able to keep Bockrath from beating them with her jump shot in both meetings holding her well-below her season average in scoring, but her rebounding and passing helped lead the Panthers to two wins.
- Camryn Brown has been a threat from deep all season and knocked down the game-tying shot to force overtime at the Millis Center in late January.
- CSU's last trip to High Point was just moments away from being a huge win, but a furious comeback gave the Panthers a win as they finished the regular season 14-1 at home.
A Win on Thursday Would
- Give the Bucs four-straight wins after back-to-back regular season wins and a 67-52 triumph Tuesday.
- Be the second win over High Point in the Big South tournament and give them the all-time series lead in neutral site affairs.
- Be the ninth win in the Big South quarterfinals in program history and 11th trip to the semifinals.
- Give CSU their fourth all-time win as the No. 7 seed in the tournament and second all-time win over a No. 2 seed.
- Give the CSU senior class five wins in the tournament.
- Send the Bucs to the Friday night semifinals game at High Point versus the Campbell/Hampton winner.
Give head coach Fred Applin his fifth Big South Conference