MBB PREVIEW: Bucs hit the road for weekend match-up at USC Upstate

MBB PREVIEW: Bucs hit the road for weekend match-up at USC Upstate

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern hits the road to the G.B. Hodge Center on Saturday afternoon for a Big South clash against USC Upstate. Tipoff in Spartanburg, S.C. on ESPN+ is set for 4:30 p.m.

CSU MBB Game Notes at USC Upstate

The Buccaneers (9-11, 3-4 Big South) are looking to stretch their winning streak to three this weekend following back-to-back home wins against Gardner-Webb (74-60) and Presbyterian (85-84). CSU improved to 8-3 in 2018-19 at home with the pair of wins but has struggled on the road this season with a 1-8 mark away from the Buccaneer Field House.

Nate Louis sparked the Bucs' offense in the win over Presbyterian in his second collegiate start at CSU. The junior guard hit 6-of-9 from the three-point line on his way to a career-high 18 points in the game. Christian Keeling added 21 points off the bench, including the game-winning three-pointer in the closing seconds of Wednesday night's win.

Ty Jones continued his torrid pace to start the Big South Conference season. The sophomore forward has connected on 70.6% of his field goal attempts this season to pace the conference and has scored double-digits in each of the last five games.

USC Upstate snapped an eight-game losing streak with an 80-73 win over Longwood last Saturday in their last contest at the G.B. Hodge Center. The Spartans closed out January with a 71-62 loss on the road at UNC Asheville.

Charleston Southern Quick Hits
- Charleston Southern improved to 3-4 in Big South play on Thursday thanks to late-game heroics by both Christian Keeling and Dontrell Shuler.

- Keeling hit the game-winning three-pointer with 12 seconds left in the contest to put PC ahead 85-84, while Shuler played key defense on PC's final shot attempt in the Bucs' win.

- It marked CSU's first win in a one-point contest this season and the third such game to be played in the Buc Dome.

- Nate Louis was the start of the show early for the Bucs and finished with 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the three-point line.

- Christian Keeling (8-of-9) and Ty Jones (6-of-7) combined for 35 points and eight rebounds in CSU's third consecutive win over the Blue Hose.

- This marks the third consecutive season the Bucs and Spartans have tipped off against each other, but the first time the two teams have met in conference play.

- The teams have split their last two games against each other with both teams winning at their opponents' courts.

- CSU has tied its longest winning streak of the season at two games following their back-to-back wins over Gardner-Webb and PC.

- The Bucs finished the month of January with a 3-4 record overall.

USC Upstate Quick Hits
- USC Upstate was picked 11th overall in the Big South Men's Basketball preseason poll announced at the conference's media day. The Spartans received 64 points overall in their first preseason ranking as a member of the Big South Conference.

- Upstate joined the Big South as a full member over the summer of 2018 transitioning from the Atlantic Sun Conference. The Spartans joined fellow newcomer Hampton (MEAC) as new members to the conference this season.

- The Spartans picked up their first Big South win of the season on January 26 as Upstate topped Longwood, 80-63.

- Upstate's win over the Lancers ended an eight-game losing streak that dated back to the team's January 2 loss at Georgia Tech, 79-63.

- USC Upstate boasts a 5-5 record at home in the G.B. Hodge Center this year.

- Malik Moore leads the Spartans with 16.3 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.

- Deion Holmes is also in double-digits with 14.6 points per game.

Connecting From Deep
Charleston Southern's three-point prowess was on display against Presbyterian as the Buccaneers tied for the third-most three-pointers in program history in the contest. The Bucs were 17-of-32 from the floor in the win over Presbyterian - marking the third time this season CSU has hit at least 15 three-pointers and eighth time the Bucs have been in double-digits.

Bucs Single Game All-Time Marks in 2019
T-3rd - Jan. 30 vs. Presbyterian - 17-of-32
T-6th - Nov. 6 vs. Columbia International - 16-of-42
T-8th - Dec. 21 vs. Johnson & Wales - 15-of-44

Ty Jones Heating Up
Ty Jones has been lights out in conference play as the sophomore forward was back in double-digits for the fifth consecutive game in CSU's win over Presbyterian. Jones was 6-of-7 in the win over the Blue Hose to improve his shooting percentage in Big South play to 70.6%.

His number is tops among the conference and continues a streak for the sophomore as he has missed a grand total of 12 shots (33-of-45) over his last five games.

Jones' Last Five Games
Jan. 12 at Longwood - 6-of-9, 12 points
Jan. 19 vs. Campbell - 5-of-8, 12 points
Jan. 24 at Radford - 10-of-12, 23 points
Jan. 26 vs. Gardner-Webb - 6-of-9, 18 points
Jan. 30 vs. Presbyterian - 6-of-7, 14 points

Jones has worked his way into the starting lineup earning the nod in each of the last three games and provides a valuable scoring option for the Bucs to help supplement the production from Christian Keeling and Dontrell Shuler.

Winning the One-Possession Game
Charleston Southern has seen its share of struggles this season in one-possession ballgames this year, but CSU turned the corner against Presbyterian as Christian Keeling connected on the game-winning three-pointer to secure the 85-84 win over the Blue Hose.

The Buccaneers improved to 1-3 this season when it comes down to the final shot this season, with three of the four contests occurring inside the Buc Dome.

One-Possession Games
Nov. 16 at MTSU - L, 76-73
Jan. 5 vs. High Point* - L, 51-50
Jan. 19 vs. Campbell* - L, 73-72
Jan. 30 vs. Presbyterian* - W, 85-84

CSU's win over the Blue Hose snapped the three-game skid in close games this season as the Buccaneers were able to get over the hump.

Christian Keeling scored 29 of his game-high 33 points in the second half against the Blue Raiders in the three-point loss to MTSU. High Point rallied against the Buccaneers with a 9-0 run to take a late lead in the Big South opener for both teams. Chris Clemons hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 16 seconds left to cap a Campbell comeback in the second half and hold off CSU in the win.

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