Women's Basketball

Buccaneers come out on top in battle of the Southerns

Buccaneers come out on top in battle of the Southerns

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Alyssa Mann scored a team-high 20 points to help push Charleston Southern past Georgia Southern in a nail-biter 55-54 victory on Monday night in the Buc Dome.

"This was a good game for us," said CSU Head Coach Fred Applin.  "We learned that we could play well together."

Mann was one of three Buccaneers to go for double digits in the contest and added six assists in the win. Ke'Asia Jackson also had the hot hand for the Bucs with the sophomore guard shooting 58.3% from the floor and recording 15 points for the Bucs. Monday night marked both Jackson and Mann's sixth double-digit performance of the season and Mann's third 20+ game of the 2016-17 slate. 

Elyse Kiploks joined the guard duo in double-digits, hitting a career-high three three-pointers on her way to finishing the game 10 points.  Kiploks was the only player on either team to play the entire 40 minutes and added five rebounds in the game.

"We have a lot of confidence in Elyse and our coaching staff has been encouraging her to shoot more," Applin added.  "She had a great night for us and put up shots when we really needed it."

The Buccaneers (5-2) were first to get on the board with a jumper just beyond the post from Jackson.  Fellow sophomore starter Rachel Burns would follow Jackson, cutting across the paint and connecting on a swift pass from Mann for the Bucs' second basket.  Georgia Southern (3-6) answered back with a 6-0 scoring run over the next two minutes, but CSU recaptured momentum with three baskets from beyond the arc and a buzzer-beater jumper by Mann to trail GSU by just one point at the end of the first period.

Georgia Southern (3-6) had a tough time getting their shots to fall in the second period, going 0-8 from beyond the arc.  An aggressive CSU defense would hold the GSU to just nine points, closing out the first half with a 29-25 lead over the Eagles.  The Bucs would strengthen their lead in the third period, holding GSU to just five points, all of which came from the free-throw line to build a 42-30 advantage.

GSU's offense was led by Angel McGowan, who recorded 22 of the Eagles' 54 points, including five three-pointers.  The senior guard was a key player in GSU's fourth period comeback effort, cutting the Bucs' lead down to just two points with her third three-pointer at 4:29 left in the contest.

McGowan would go on to score the next 10 points for the Eagles, but Mann and Burns would give the Bucs' a seven-point lead with the clock ticking down in the final minute.  With just nine seconds left in the contest, McGowan sank her fourth three-pointer and found another at the buzzer that would fall just short of sending the game into overtime.

It was a physical match-up in the Buc Dome with the teams combining for 39 fouls. CSU limited Georgia Southern to a 27.5% field goal percentage in the game, but GSU made up for the deficit by scoring 18 points (18-of-27) at the charity line.

Monday's victory moves Charleston Southern to a 4-0 record at home and marked the Bucs' second win against Georgia Southern in the thirteen meetings between the schools. 
"I am very pleased with our team," Applin said.  "They took what we worked on at practice all last week and they stuck to the script.  If we play together like we did tonight, I know we can go far this season."

The Buccaneers now turn their attention to Friday night as they welcome Montreat.  Tipoff at the Buc Dome is set for 7 p.m. on the Big South Network.

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