CHARLESTON, S.C. – Senior guard Breannah Bretches became the latest Buccaneer with 20-plus points in a contest as she paced a Charleston Southern offense that shot .448 from the floor and used 26 points off turnovers for a 70-59 win over long-time Big South rival UNC Asheville Tuesday night from the Buc Dome.
Bretches scored a team-high 20 points in the win, just one shy of tying her career-best 21 from two seasons ago, to help Charleston Southern (7-14, 4-6 Big South) snap UNC Asheville's (11-10, 6-4 Big South) six-game win streak. Bretches was joined in double figures by fellow seniors Shelby Wilbanks (17 points, three rebounds), Weknyne Dumorne (13 points, six rebounds) and Rachel Burns (12 points, three steals) in the win.
Charleston Southern set the tone early forcing six UNC Asheville turnovers and just two field goals for a 17-5 lead through 10 minutes. The Bucs never trailed in the contest after the 17-5 opening run and held a margin as wide as 16 in the first half.
The Bulldogs were led offensively by Nadira Evans' 21 points and Jessica Wall added 14 of her 20 in the second half to try and will a comeback, but the Bucs never surrendered the lead.
Points off turnovers, second chance points and an early shooting funk proved to be the difference Tuesday night with CSU forcing 19 Bulldogs turnovers into 26 points on the other end and scoring 15 second-chance tallies.
How It Happened
- CSU opened the game on an 8-2 spurt thanks to baskets from four different players, then Rachel Burns splashed a trey in the corner out of the media timeout allowing CSU to step on the gas.
- The Bucs forced six Bulldogs turnovers in the opening stanza and just two field goals while shooting .571 themselves.
- UNC Asheville's offense woke up in the second scoring a game-high 21 points in the second quarter, but a 24-point CSU response after the early deficit ballooned the halftime lead to 41-26 in favor of the home Buccaneers.
- CSU ended the first half shooting 18-of-31 from the field and hit five of their six treys on their way to the early lead.
- After the Bulldogs tied it at 2-2, CSU would go on to lead for the remaining 39:15 of the contest.
- UNC Asheville used a 16-point third quarter to chip away at the deficit thanks to eight points from Jessica Wall and bring the game back to single digits down the stretch.
- The visiting Bulldogs kept chipping away and brought the game back to a six-point margin with 2:47 to play, but CSU used free throws as well as lockdown defense to hold UNC Asheville to just one more field goal in the stretch run.
News and Notes
- CSU has now held a fourth-quarter lead in five-straight contests going 3-2 in that stretch including two road wins.
- Tuesday marked the first Big South home win of the season for CSU after spending most of the early slate on the road.
- The Bucs have won back-to-back Big South games for the first time this season and had four players in double figures for the second time in league play.
- Bretches became the fourth Buccaneer to score 20 points in a contest this season and gave the Bucs their third player with 20 points in a Big South contest joining Shelby Wilbanks and Ke'Asia Jackson.
- Tuesday's performance marked the first time CSU has never trailed in a contest and the 39:15 the Bucs led for was the most in a game this season.
CSU takes on Big South newcomer USC Upstate Saturday for the second of a three-game homestand in search of a regular season sweep. The Bucs took down the Spartans 78-75 in Spartanburg back on Jan. 19. Tipoff is slated for 3 p.m. inside the Buc Dome on ESPN+.