MBB Preview: Buccaneers face tough test with Saturday ESPN3 contest at Winthrop

MBB Preview: Buccaneers face tough test with Saturday ESPN3 contest at Winthrop

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Saturday brings a new challenge for the Charleston Southern men's basketball team as the Buccaneers make the trip to Rock Hill, S.C. and the Winthrop Coliseum for a conference clash against the host Winthrop Eagles. Tipoff on ESPN3 is set for 2 p.m.

CSU MBB Game Notes at Winthrop*

The Buccaneers (13-13, 7-6 Big South) are winners of six of their last eight games as CSU looks to keep the momentum going heading into the final stretch in conference play. The run reflects shades of last season when CSU finished 7-2 down the stretch on their way to advancing to the conference quarterfinals.

CSU is tied for sixth overall in the conference standings with High Point (7-6) with three games to play in the conference regular season. The top five receive an automatic bye into the quarterfinal round, while the remaining six will compete on Tuesday, March 5th, in the Big South First Round.

The Bucs are looking for another strong defensive performance this weekend as CSU has limited back-to-back offenses to shoot under 40.0% from the floor. CSU limited USC Upstate to 39.7% shooting from the floor and out-rebounded the Spartans 47-25 on their way to completing the season sweep over Upstate.

CSU will look to continue the dangerous Winthrop offense that leads the nation in three-pointers made and three-pointers per game. The Eagles took the first matchup between the two teams, 76-72, behind strong offensive performances from Josh Ferguson and Charles Falden.

CSU Quick Hits
- Shades of last season, Charleston Southern has won six of its last eight games heading into the Saturday afternoon contest against Winthrop.

- The Buccaneers are tied possession of sixth in the Big South regular season standings with three games left to play.

- UNC Asheville the final two home opponents for the Buccaneers this season with next Wednesday's (Feb. 27) home contest against the Bulldogs set for Senior Day.

- Christian Keeling becoming the third Buccaneer in CSU history in posting the career statistics line of 1,500 points and 500 rebounds.

- Keeling joined Ben Hinson (2,295 points, 688 rebounds, 1983-87) and T.L. Latson (1,518 points, 704 rebounds, 1992-96) as the lone Bucs to accomplish the feat.

- CSU posted its program's 600th victory in CSU men's basketball program history.

- Keeling's 19-points and 13-rebounds helped pace CSU to the 92-60 win over USC Upstate this past Thursday.

- The 32-point win margin was the fourth-biggest by the Bucs against an NCAA Division I opponent dating back to the 1980-81 season.

- The Bucs are back at .500 for the first time since December 1 on the year as CSU continues to excel in conference competition.

- CSU picked up its first win at Winthrop in the Radebaugh coaching era last season, a 78-75 win in the season finale.

Winthrop Quick Hits
- Winthrop was picked second overall in the Big South Men's Basketball preseason poll announced at the conference's media day. The Eagles received 280 points overall and two first place votes.

- Winthrop junior forward Josh Ferguson was recognized on the conference's preseason Second Team after returning as the Big South's fourth-leading rebounder.

- Winthrop is currently third in the conference standings with a 9-5 record following back-to-back losses at Gardner-Webb and Radford.

- The Eagles boast an 10-3 record at home this season, but is just 7-7 away from the Winthrop Coliseum.

- Nych Smith (17.4) leads four Winthrop layers averaging double-digit points per game this season.

- The Eagles lead the nation in three-pointers per game (12.5) and total three-pointers made (324). Winthrop is third in the NCAA in three-point attempts with 862 on the season.

Last Time These Teams Met – February 7, 2019 – Winthrop 76, CSU 72
Charleston Southern nearly overcame a double-digit lead with a furious comeback over the closing 3:53 before succumbing to visiting Winthrop on Thursday evening inside the Buccaneer Field House, 76-72.

The Bucs rallied back from a 16-point deficit after trailing 73-57 as CSU's defense stood up and produced six turnovers on Winthrop's final nine possessions of the contest. CSU cut the lead all the way down to 75-72 following a pair of Christian Keeling free throws, but three late three-pointers were off the mark as the clock ran out on the Bucs' comeback attempt.

Dontrell Shuler led the Bucs with a team-high 16 points, while Phlandrous Fleming added14 points and six assists off the bench in the loss. Christian Keeling added nine points and a game-high 14 rebounds to help supplement the CSU attack.

Charles Falden (17) and Josh Ferguson (17) paced Winthrop's offense as the Eagles shot 47.6% from the floor and 44.8% from the three-point line in the win. Adam Pickett added 14 points and four assists in the win.

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