Lady Bucs primed for final home stand of 2013 seasonFebruary 18, 2013
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Going into their final home stand, the Lady Bucs welcome Coastal Carolina and Campbell to the Buc Dome as the Charleston Southern women’s basketball team celebrates Senior Day this weekend in recognition of their five 2012-2013 seniors.
Charleston Southern and Coastal Carolina tipoff on Thursday evening as a part of a doubleheader with the CSU men’s basketball team taking on VMI in the nightcap. The Lady Bucs and the Chanticleers are scheduled to begin play at 5 p.m. in a rematch from their game played on January 5th inside The HTC Center. The Lady Bucs host Senior Day on Saturday afternoon, with festivities recognizing seniors Kiki Rutledge, Shay Jones, Rachelle Coward, Helen Terry and Lakeitha Alston taking place before the 2 p.m. tipoff against the Campbell Camels.
Game Notes l Live Stats l Live Video
CSU comes off a loss to Presbyterian in their lone contest this past week, with Charleston Southern falling to the Blue Hose on Saturday afternoon inside the Buc Dome in their annual Play4Kay game, 79-61.
With the loss, Charleston Southern fell to 8-15 overall on the season, 3-11 in Big South Conference play heading into the final two weeks leading into the VisitMyrtleBeach.com Big South Conference Basketball Championships.
Presbyterian used a 10-0 run at the beginning of the second half, with Dria David opening the run for the Blue Hose with a three-pointer. Chelsea Parker closed it out with a trey of her own as Presbyterian went up 45-33 in building a double-digit lead they would not relinquish the remainder of the game in the win.
Lakeitha Alston led the Lady Bucs with 23 points, narrowly missing out on her fourth double-double of the season with nine rebounds and tied a career-high with three made three-pointers in the game in leading the CSU offense. Anicia Dotson also connected on three treys in finishing with 14 points, while Shay Jones scored 10 points off the bench, all in the second half, for the Bucs.
In a game featuring the top free throw shooting team in the Big South Conference in Charleston Southern, Presbyterian did most of their damage from the line, hitting 25-of-29 attempts from the charity stripe, led by perfect performances by Shonda Burnside, Mariah Pietrowski, Karlee Taylor and Noelle Carter.
Early in the contest, CSU connected from outside as Alston, DJ Fowler and Dotson connected on three-pointers with Dotson’s trey snapping a 13-all tie to give CSU the 16-13 advantage.
The Lady Bucs held the lead throughout a majority of the first half, going up 20-15 following Alston’s third three-pointer in the game, but Presbyterian made a run over the final two minutes, giving PC the 38-33 halftime lead, en route to building a double-digit lead over the remainder of the contest.
Alston continues to lead the Lady Bucs women’s basketball team on the season, averaging a team-high 15.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per game for Charleston Southern. The senior forward from Myrtle Beach, S.C. passed a career milestone against Presbyterian this past weekend, recording her 600th career rebound in the CSU Blue and Gold, and approaches milestone entering this week, sitting 10 points away from 1,400 in her career.
Junior guards DJ Fowler and Erin Bratcher are also averaging double-digits for the Lady Bucs on the season.
Fowler enters averaging 10.7 points, 3.4 assists and 2.5 steals per game, leading the team in the latter two categories, while also averaging 3.9 rebounds. She enters the week sitting sixth overall in the Big South Conference in free throw percentage at 77.6 percent on the season, and is second in minutes played, logging 37.1 minutes per game on the year.
Bratcher has also been a warrior for the Lady Bucs on the court, averaging a Big South leading 37.4 minutes per game on the court, while sitting third overall on the team with 10.2 points and a team-high 61 made three-pointers. She is averaging 2.7 treys per game, third in the conference and is second on the team with 4.2 rebounds per game.
Shay Jones is also among the CSU leaders in the Big South standings, averaging 9.5 points per game, sitting fourth overall in free throw percentage, making 78.8 percent of her attempts.
Coastal Carolina (12-13, 7-8 Big South) Game Preview
In their previous matchup against the Chanticleers, Coastal Carolina was led by a career-high 21 points from guard AJ Jordan in holding off visiting Charleston Southern inside The HTC Center back on January 5th, 64-56.
Jordan narrowly missed out on the double-double with nine rebounds, leading all nine Coastal Carolina players who saw time in the game in scoring as CCU held the 36-16 scoring edge inside the paint and 13-2 advantage in scoring off the bench.
Alston recorded her first double-double of the season in the game, scoring 17 points and 12 rebounds, scoring all 17 of her points in the second half in sparking CSU’s run. Fowler added 14 points and four assists, while Jones was also in double-digits with 12 points, tying a career-high with three treys in the game.
Charleston Southern battled back in the second half after trailing 41-28 with 14:54 remaining in the contest as Alston sparked an 11-2 run with her first basket of the evening, bringing CSU back to within two possessions.
CSU continued to keep the score within reach multiple times, bringing the game back to within five points at 60-55 with 2:31 to play as Dotson connected on a pair of free throws, but the Chants held off the Lady Bucs from the free throw line as Angelica Henry made all four of her late free throw attempts in closing out the 64-56 victory.
Henry leads the team in the scoring category on the season, averaging 11.2 points per game, while Shatia Cole is also in double-digits with 10.3 points per contest. Henry is the team leader with 83 assists on the season, while also recording a team-high 61 steals.
Katelyn Connor leads the team on the glass, averaging 6.7 rebounds per game, while also leading the team with 29 blocked shots overall.
Campbell Camels (18-8, 9-5 Big South) Game Preview
This will be the first matchup of the season between Charleston Southern and Campbell and the first time the teams have met since CSU upended the Fighting Camels in the first round of the Big South Conference tournament last season, 57-53.
The win was CSU’s first win against Campbell in program history after 25 consecutive losses to start the series.
Rachelle Coward led the way the last time for the Camels, sinking five three-pointers to lead the team with 20 points, while Alston scored 17 and added a team-high eight rebounds in the win.
The Buccaneers struggled from the field in the first half, making just seven shots from the floor, but CSU caught on fire in the second half, hitting six three-pointers and going 10-for-14 from the charity stripe in the win.
This season, Campbell has been on a roll, entering this week on a five game winning streak, recording victories at home against Longwood, Gardner-Webb and UNC Asheville, while topping Radford and Winthrop on the road.
The Camels are led on the season by Tonisha Baker, as the senior guard is averaging 14.4 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, leading the team with 82 steals and 99 assists overall. Kiera Gaines is also in double-digits scoring on the season, averaging 11.5 points per game, stepping up in conference play with 13.3 points per game in the Big South.
Zena Lovette is the primary outside threat for the Camels, connecting on 31 three-pointers on the season, while Gaines is the leader on the glass, averaging 7.4 rebounds per game.