CHARLESTON, S.C. – Rachelle Coward and Erin Bratcher paced a balanced effort with 16 points apiece as the Charleston Southern women’s basketball team defeated Gardner-Webb, 86-66, at Buccaneer Field House on Monday night. It was the Buccaneers’ third consecutive win as they conclude their most recent home stand undefeated.
The win marked CSU’s first-ever season sweep of Gardner-Webb. The Buccaneers entered the season with a 1-5 record against the Runnin’ Bulldogs and previously picked up their first ever win at Paul Porter Arena with a 63-53 victory back on January 7.
All five CSU starters finished in double figures as CSU trailed only once in the opening minute of the contest before taking the lead for good on a Shay Jones three-pointer. CSU (14-8, 7-4) entered play averaging 9.1 made treys per game to rank 4th in the nation and continued to display their shooting touch by knocking down 13-of-27 attempts from downtown. Bratcher led the three-point barrage with a 4-of-6 effort from beyond the arc.
Gardner-Webb (2-19, 1-10) was led by 19 points from Catrina Green, but shot only 38 percent as a team in dropping its seventh straight decision.
CSU enjoyed a 42-32 halftime lead, but Gardner-Webb hung around and drew within eight on a Jasmine Dale triple with 10:08 remaining. The Bucs struck back with an 8-0 spurt to take a 67-51 advantage, though, as Anicia Dotson (13 points and 11 rebounds) hit a three and Coward swished two free throws before Lakeitha Alston (15 points and 9 rebounds) buried another trey to end the flurry. The Runnin’ Bulldogs never crept closer than 13 the rest of the way.
Jones, in just her second game back from injury, finished the night with 13 points and a team-high five steals. The Buccaneers, especially Jones in particular, were able to take advantage of the Runnin’ Bulldogs’ 25 fouls by hitting 21 free-throw shots. Jones led the effort, going 8-of-10 at the charity stripe. Dotson was 5-for-6 while Coward knocked down four from the line.
The Bucs finished the night with a slight edge in the battle of turnovers with 15 of their own but were better able to take advantage by scoring 18 points as a direct result of the GWU miscues. The CSU bench also had the advantage, with Shambreka Jones and Shannon Sanders combining for 13 points.
Charleston Southern’s 3-point field goal percentage of 48.1 was their second highest of the season. They previously shot .500 at the Buc Dome back in November against Southern Wesleyan.
Dotson’s 13 points and 11 rebounds marks the second straight game in which a CSU player has recorded a double double as she becomes the third Buc do accomplish the feat this season. Freshman Shambreka Jones recorded her first career double double on Saturday against UNC Asheville, while Alston leads the Bucs with four on the season.
With a 3-0 homestand now complete, CSU enjoys a five-day respite from game action before returning to the floor on Saturday, February 11 at Liberty. Tipoff in Lynchburg is set for 2 p.m.