CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern and Hampton meet for the first time as Big South Conference foes Thursday at the Hampton University Convocation Center. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on ESPN+. Fans can also listen to coverage on csusports.com as the Bucs start a two-game Virginia road swing that will also take them to Longwood on Saturday.
CSU (6-8, 0-1 Big South) is looking to rebound from a hard-fought 51-50 home loss to High Point in Saturday's league opener. Hampton (5-8) will be playing its first game in 12 days, and its first ever Big South game. The Pirates were the lone team not to start their league slate Saturday.
Hampton was one of the MEAC's most successful programs in recent years, capturing a share of the regular season conference championship en route to an NIT bid last season. The Pirates have advanced to postseason play each of the last five years, including NCAA Tournament berths in 2015 and 2016. The highlight of Hampton's current season to date is an 86-66 victory at Richmond on Nov. 25. The Pirates fell at Saint Peter's 83-80 in overtime their last time out.
Thursday's matchup will be just the second between the two programs, and CSU's first encounter with Hampton star guard Jermaine Marrow. Marrow is the nation's sixth-leading scorer (25.1 PPG) and also ranks among Big South leaders in three-point field goal percentage (1st), minutes (2nd), assists (3rd), three-pointers made (3rd) and free-throw percentage (5th). As a team, Hampton paces the circuit in three-point field goal percentage defense and blocked shots, while ranking second – behind CSU – in offensive rebounds.
Bucs fall to High Point despite strong defensive effort
Charleston Southern held High Point to 35 percent shooting, including just a 24 percent mark in the first half, but a late cold spell proved costly in a 51-50 defeat. HPU reeled off a 9-0 run to take its first lead since early in the first half at the 3:36 mark, and then held on to win after CSU briefly retook the lead on a Christian Keeling three-pointer.
More on Bucs' defense vs. Panthers
High Point's 51 points tied for the seventh-fewest by a Division I team against CSU during Barclay Radebaugh's tenure as head coach. CSU held HPU scoreless for 6:25 during a 13-0 first half run that produced a 15-10 lead. The Bucs held the Panthers without a point for another 4:48 stretch late in the opening stanza.
Bucs shining in effort stats
CSU has created an identity in applying pressure and forcing turnovers. The Bucs continue to rank second nationally in turnovers forced, causing 21.2 per game. CSU has forced 145 turnovers in its six wins, and has created at least 20 eight times. Five different players are averaging over one steal per game, while a sixth (Dontrell Shuler) is just below that mark. The Bucs also pace the Big South and sit among national leaders in turnover margin (3rd), steals per game (13th) and offensive rebounds (4th).
Buskey continues to score
Deontaye Buskey scored ten points on an efficient 4-for-7 shooting against High Point. It was the sophomore point guard's third consecutive double-figure scoring effort and ninth of the campaign. Buskey reached that mark just once in 29 games as a freshman. He has also grown into a more than capable threat from three-point range, going 23-for-58 (40%) from downtown. Buskey was 12-for-40 (30%) from three last season.