SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Five different players scored in double figures as Charleston Southern topped host USC Upstate on Saturday afternoon at the G.B. Hodge Center, 90-71.
The Buccaneers (10-11, 4-4 Big South) stretched their winning streak to three as CSU shot 57.6% from the floor as a team and 50.0% from the three-point line. CSU led by as many as 25 points in the second half in securing their third consecutive Big South win.
Travis McConico narrowly missed out on CSU's second triple-double of the season as the senior forward recorded 14 points, 11 rebounds, and a season-high eight assists. Dontrell Shuler (18) and Christian Keeling (18) led the Bucs in scoring, while Ty Jones (16) and Phlandrous Fleming (12) were also in double-digits.
Malik Moore led all scorers with 25 points and added nine rebounds for the Spartans as USC Upstate (6-19, 1-9 Big South) fell at home. Brandon Martin added 13 points off the bench, while two other players were also in double-digits for USC Upstate.
How It Happened
- Charleston Southern held the early advantage in the contest as Ty Jones and Duncan LeXander put in seven of the Bucs' first nine points to give CSU the early 9-4 lead.
- Upstate responded with a 7-0 run capped by five consecutive points from Moore to swing the advantage to the Spartans at 11-9 with 12:26 to play in the first half.
- The score was tied up at 20-20 following another Jones layup and Dontrell Shuler converted the triple at the 8:23 mark to swing the lead back to the Bucs.
- The Shuler triple was quickly followed by three-pointers from both Nate Louis and Christian Keeling to put CSU ahead 29-20 with 6:58 to play in the first half.
- The lead stretched to 15 on Keeling's second three-pointer of the first half as the junior guard connected from the left wing to send CSU into the half leading 44-29.
- USC Upstate cut the margin down to five on a 12-5 run capped by Moore converting the and-1 opportunity with 16:06 left in the second half.
- From there it was all Bucs as Keeling, Shuler, McConico, and Jones combined to hit the next nine points and stretch the CSU lead back to double-digits at 58-44.
- The Bucs' lead reached as much as 25 on Fleming's put-back slam off Shuler's miss from the left corner with 8:18 to play as CSU cruised the remainder of the way in the Big South win.
Inside the Numbers
- CSU's win over USC Upstate marked the third time this season at least five players have scored double-digits for the Bucs this season and first time since Longwood on January 12, 2019.
- It was CSU's second highest shooting night of the season with the Bucs' percentage (57.6%) just shy of the mark they shot at Radford on January 24 (57.7%).
- CSU shot over 50.0% from the three-point line for the second consecutive game and the Bucs hit double-digits in made three-pointers for the ninth time this year.
- Dontrell Shuler scored a season-high in Big South Conference competition with his 18 points, while his eight field goals were also a season-high.
- Christian Keeling's six rebounds in the game put him at 491 for his career – nine shy of becoming the fifth Bucaneer all-time with 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds.
- The Bucs improved to 7-1 all-time over USC Upstate with the win over the Spartans.
- Ty Jones continues to be strong in conference play hitting 7-of-11 from the floor and added five rebounds.
- CSU's 19 assists in the game marked the third consecutive game CSU has had 15+ assists and 10th time this season the Bucs have eclipsed that mark in 2018-19.
"We're just getting better. Our guys are adapting to our style of play and it was showing out there on the court today. I thought at the 10-minute mark in the first half that we really sunk into the game defensively and slowed the game down. We got into the passing lanes and started to get a nice rhythm going. When we're playing small, we're hard to guard, and the guys got after it defensively today." – Head Coach Barclay Radebaugh
Charleston Southern returns home to the Buccaneer Field House on Thursday, February 7, for a midweek matchup against Winthrop. Tipoff between the Bucs and the Eagles is set for 7:30 p.m. on ESPN+.