Comeback Spurs CSU Past StetsonDecember 21, 2011
by CSU Sports Information
DELAND, FL. – The Charleston Southern men’s basketball team erased a 13-point first half deficit to top the Stetson Hatters, 88-81, at the Edmunds Center on Wednesday night.
Saah Nimley paced five CSU (7-4, 2-0) players in double figures, as the freshman recorded his first double-double with 23 points and a career-high 12 assists. Thirteen of Nimley’s points and eight of the assists came after halftime, as the Bucs shot 61 percent from the floor and 63 percent (7-of-11) from three en route to 51 second half points.
A classmate of Nimley’s was one of the chief beneficiaries of his helpers, as freshman forward Cedrick Bowen tallied a career-high 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting, while also collecting six rebounds.
Senior forward Kelvin Martin once again turned in a terrific all-around performance, hitting for 16 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks, and two steals. With the Bucs clinging to a four-point lead inside the two minute mark, Martin’s steal and block of Adam Pegg on successive possessions helped cement the victory.
Sophomore guard Sheldon Strickland and freshman guard Arlon Harper rounded out CSU’s double-digit scorers, racking up 14 and 11 points respectively.
Liberty transfer Chris Perez led three Stetson (4-6, 1-1) players in double figures with a career-high 23 points, but it was not enough as the Hatters dropped their second game this season and third straight overall to the Bucs.
After Bowen connected for the game’s opening bucket, the first half shaped up in a very similar fashion to the first meeting a month ago in Charleston. Stetson scored the next 12 points of the contest, holding CSU scoreless 5:27.
A Perez jumper upped the Hatters’ advantage to 36-23 with 4:02 remaining until intermission, but the Bucs answered with a 14-4 run to close within three at the break. Six different players scored during the spurt, which Strickland punctuated with a fast break layup off a steal by Paul Gombwer.
CSU carried the momentum into the early stages of the second half, surging ahead at 42-40 on a Bowen turn-around jumper. That hardly deterred Stetson, though, as the Hatters caught fire from the field to stretch its cushion back to eight at 68-60 on Adam Pegg’s three-pointer with 11:26 left in the matchup.
A 15-2 run then allowed the Bucs to take the lead back for good. Nimley and Harper highlighted the run with a pair of treys, as Nimley knotted the score with a step-back three before Harper pulled up from straight on in transition for a 73-70 CSU lead. Martin finished the outburst with a layup to advance the margin to 75-70 with 7:08 left.
Stetson twice drew within two points down the stretch, but Martin’s big defensive plays and clutch free throws from Nimley and Harper were enough to send CSU to its second road victory of the campaign.
Despite allowing the Hatters to shoot 44 percent from the field and 42 percent (13-of-31) from three-point range, the Bucs pressure wreaked havoc to force 20 turnovers which led to 15 points on the other end. Nimley’s 12 assists also highlighted another strong team effort, as 22 of CSU’s 34 field goals on the night were assisted.
CSU will enjoy a week respite for Christmas, before heading back into action on Wednesday, December 28 for a 7 p.m. matchup with Division II Erskine College at the Buc Dome.Related Item: Box Score