GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Charleston Southern women's basketball team came within moments of knocking off Florida Sunday, but free throws down the stretch lifted the home Gators to a 70-60 win.
Senior guard Ke'Asia Jackson, who keeps climbing the all-time scoring list every time she steps on the court, finished with a team-high 20 points in the loss while fellow senior Breannah Bretches added 10 for a second-straight game. The 20-point effort was the third from Jackson this season, a team-high.
Rachel Burns added nine points while pulling down a team-best five boards and picking off three Florida passes. Burns keeps inching closer to the 1,000 point, 500 rebound and 200 steal mark and will be just the third Buccaneer in program history to reach the feat.
Florida guard Funda Nakkasoglu poured in a game-high 30 points to headline three Gators in double figures as Zada Williams and Delicia Washington added 18 and 13 respectively.
The Bucs and Gators traded blows through the first three stanzas, but 20 free throws in the final frame provided just enough cushion down the stretch as the Gators outscored CSU 23-16 despite just one made field goal.
How It Happened
- CSU carried a 13-12 lead after the first 10 minutes of action and only trailed by five at the break thanks to nine early points from Jackson.
- The Buccaneer defense was able to slow down the perimeter shooting from Florida early on as the Gators were unable to connect from deep until the second half.
- Nakkasoglu found her stroke from beyond the arc in the second half as she finished 4-of-7 from deep, knocking down all four of Florida's triples. She ended the day a perfect 8-of-8 from the line to counter Jackson's 20 for CSU.
- Florida used 20 free throws to overcome just one made field goal in the fourth quarter to outscore CSU 23-16 and escape with a 10-point win.
- Jackson added 11 of her 20 in the second half while Bretches added seven of her 10 after halftime.
News and Notes
- CSU came within moments of taking down both SEC teams they faced this season nearly downing national power Georgia to open the month and holding a fourth-quarter lead over Florida to close the calendar year.
- With her three steals, Burns has six games with three-or-more steals including five-straight. She's quickly closing in on 200 career steals thanks to the pick-pocketing stretch.
- The 20-point effort from Jackson was the third this season for the Irmo, S.C. native. Sunday also marked the fifth time she paced the Bucs in scoring.
CSU entertains Big South newcomer Hampton Saturday, Jan. 5 to open conference play kicking off a seven-day stretch in which the Bucs hit the court four times. Game time against the Pirates is set for 3 p.m. from the Buc Dome.