Martin's Double-Double Lifts CSU over RadfordFebruary 25, 2012
by CSU Sports Information
RADFORD, VA. – Kelvin Martin tallied his 12th double-double of the year and matched a career-high with five blocks as Charleston Southern capped the regular season with a 65-59 win over Radford at the Dedmon Center on Saturday afternoon.
Martin finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds, and threw in three more steals to add to his Big South leading total. He also went 9-of-14 from the free-throw line, equaling a career-best in makes at the charity stripe for the second time in three games.
CSU (18-11, 11-7) trailed 54-51 when R.J. Price swished a jumper with 5:45 remaining, but used a 6-0 run to take the lead for good, and held on late with several key defensive stops.
Jeremy Sexton started the spurt with a jumper, and CSU quickly moved ahead at 55-54 when Martin stole the ensuing inbounds pass and laid home a layup off the glass. Martin came up with a block of Price to thwart Radford’s next trip down the floor, and a turnover the following time set up two Arlon Harper free throws for a 57-54 cushion.
Radford (6-25, 2-16) closed back to within two at 59-57 and had the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead thanks in part to four straight missed free throws from CSU. Price could not convert on a drive, though, as Martin got a piece of yet another shot and set up Sexton on the fast break.
Sexton was fouled hard from behind by Radford’s Chance Smith, and the officials ruled it an intentional, giving the Bucs two shots at the charity stripe and the ball. The junior guard calmly drilled both, and then netted two more when he was fouled again after catching the inbounds pass. Sexton’s clutch finish at the line punctuated an 11-point performance, and highlighted a team effort which saw the Bucs go 25-of-36 at the stripe. The ability to get to the free-throw line helped make up for a 35 percent shooting night which saw CSU make only 29 percent of its attempts in the second half.
Harper cashed in 10 of his 19 markers in the opening 6:31 of the game, as he scored CSU’s first seven points in a back-and-forth first half which featured six ties and six lead changes. Harper’s third trey came from straight-on and knotted the score at 12 apiece.
The Bucs built an advantage as large as six on a second consecutive Saah Nimley drive with 6:02 left until intermission, but the Highlanders answered back with a 10-1 run to move in front, 34-31, on a Blake Smith triple at the 1:34 mark. CSU evened the ledger at 34 heading into the locker room, however, as Sexton hit two free throws and Martin added one.
All of Harper’s field goals came from three-point land, as he knocked down 4-of-5 and finished 4-of-7 overall. Harper also racked up a 7-of-10 night at the charity stripe, and contributed three steals as part of a CSU defensive effort which forced 17 Radford turnovers.
Radford forced 17 turnovers themselves, but did not receive much help from Price, who entered as its leading scorer and assist-man only to record 4 points and 2 assists on 2-of-9 shooting in 20 minutes of play. Johnathan Edwards led three players in double figures for the Highlanders with 12 points, and contributed 10 rebounds for his first career double-double.
The 18 wins are CSU’s most since compiling 19 during the 1994-1995 season, one which ended with a Big South Tournament title.
CSU enters this year’s Big South Tournament as the No. 4 seed and will take on 5th seeded Liberty in the quarterfinals on Wednesday at UNC Asheville’s Kimmel Arena. The Bucs split the season series with the Flames, coming out on top in Lynchburg on Dec. 31 before falling at the buzzer in a 75-74 final at the Buc Dome on Feb. 9. Tipoff in the rubber match is set for 8 p.m.
For a look at the complete tournament bracket, click here.
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