Gardner-Webb Clips CSU, 80-77January 10, 2012
by CSU Sports Information
|Photo by Tim and Sam Andrews|
BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – The Charleston Southern men’s basketball team rallied from a ten-point second half deficit to take a three-point lead late, but could not get over the hump in an 80-77 loss to Gardner-Webb at Paul Porter Arena on Tuesday night.
Freshman Arlon Harper led CSU (10-7, 4-3) in scoring for the second consecutive game, hitting for 11 of his 18 points after halftime. Senior Kelvin Martin pumped in 11 of his 17 following intermission, and finished with a team-high eight rebounds.
Gardner-Webb (9-9, 4-2) tallied the final six points of the contest, and was paced by Stefon Johnson’s double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs opened up a 39-33 halftime advantage, and built the cushion to 49-39 on a Tyler Strange layup with 17:09 remaining. The Bucs battled back from there, though, and moved in front at 65-64 on a Sheldon Strickland layup at the 7:31 mark.
Both clubs traded the lead five times over the next several minutes, and CSU found itself down 73-70 when Gardner-Webb’s Mike Byron cleaned up a Johnson miss underneath.
CSU responded with a 7-1 run to surge ahead, 77-74, with just 1:19 left. Mathiang Muo buried a three from the left corner, Strickland drove the center of the lane for two, and Martin netted two clutch free throws.
Tashan Newsome proved to be the difference for Gardner-Webb, though, as the Mississippi Valley State transfer connected for four straight points. Newsome first swished a pair from the line, and then got another chance to go to work when CSU committed a 35-second shot clock violation. On the next possession, Newsome drove baseline and lofted in a runner off the glass to give the Runnin’ Bulldogs the lead for good.
Strange picked the pocket of Martin on the following trip down the floor, and provided the final margin with two free throws as Saah Nimley’s half court heave clanged off the glass at the buzzer.
The Bucs controlled the opening tip, and posted the night’s first bucket on Harper’s foul line pull-up 18 seconds into play. Martin’s layup 1:21 later pushed CSU ahead 4-3 for its final lead of the first stanza, as Gardner-Webb established control with a 9-1 run.
Johnson spearheaded the spurt with an array of post moves to power home three baskets, and Jason Dawson provided the exclamation point by drilling a trey from the wing.
CSU’s zone pressure helped keep them around as they cashed in 13 points off nine Gardner-Webb first half turnovers. Harper collected a career-high tying five steals for the evening, and recorded back-to-back swipes to highlight a 6-0 mini-run which established one of the game’s six ties.
Harper first picked off a pass and hit Nimley for an easy deuce, and then flew into the passing line in the frontcourt and raced the other way for a right-hand jam to knot the score at 21 apiece.
CSU kept it to a one-possession game for a majority of the remainder of the first half, but went into the locker room down six when Strange hit a triple just in front of the buzzer.
Nimley (11 points) and Strickland (10 points) each reached double figures for the Bucs as well to contribute to an offensive effort which saw CSU shoot 50 percent (16-of-32) from the field and 64 percent (7-of-11) from three in the second half.
Gardner-Webb was even more efficient, however, shooting at a 53 percent clip (28-of-53) overall and a 47 percent rate (8-of-17) from downtown. Rebounding proved to be a determining factor for the Runnin’ Bulldogs, as they enjoyed a 41-26 advantage on the backboard and scored 16 second chance points.
CSU wraps up a seven-game in 15-day stretch when it returns home to welcome Presbyterian to the Buc Dome on Thursday. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.Related Item: Box Score