CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern made sure its 600th win in program history was never in doubt as the Buccaneers ran away from visiting USC Upstate on Thursday night inside the Buccaneer Field House, 92-60.
Christian Keeling also eclipsed a career milestone as the junior guard became just the third player in CSU history to achieve 1,500 career points and 500 career rebounds midway through the second half to help pace the Buccaneers (13-13, 7-6 Big South) to the season sweep over the Spartans. Keeling finished the contest with 19 points and 13 rebounds while playing a game-high 34 minutes on the floor.
The Buccaneers held the 12-point lead over Upstate (6-23, 1-13 Big South) at the half and then proceeded to shoot 63.3% from the floor and 57.1% from the three-point line in the second half on their way to leading by as many as 36 points before closing out the win. Upstate was unable to mount the late challenge despite 24 points from Deion Holmes in the loss.
Phlandrous Fleming scored 16 points and added six rebounds off the bench for CSU, while Deontaye Buskey (10) and Dontrell Shuler (10) were also in double-digits. The Bucs held the 47-25 rebounding advantage and outscored the Spartans 45-20 off the bench.
Holmes was the lone Upstate player in double-digits on Thursday as the Spartans shot 39.7% from the floor and 40.7% from the three-point line. USC Upstate added five blocked shots as a team in the game paced by Pat Welch's two.
How It Happened
- Nate Louis put the Buccaneers in the lead early with a three-pointer on CSU's second possession of the game before Upstate responded with five quick points to take their lone lead of the game.
- Dalvin White hit a jumper and Holmes followed with a three-pointer at the 18:19 mark to give Upstate the 5-3 lead before CSU took over.
- The Bucs went on an 18-5 run over the next nine minutes with Keeling, Sadarius Bowser, and Fleming all dunking during the stretch before a Fleming three-pointer gave CSU its first double-digit lead of the game at 21-10.
- CSU's lead reached as much as 16 in the first half as Travis McConico's tip-in on his own miss put the Bucs ahead 34-18 at the 4:06 mark.
- The Bucs led by 12 at the half as Ty Jones continued to help CSU dominate the paint with a tip-in to highlight a 16-4 scoring advantage for the home team.
- The lead reached 20 for the first time at the 15:13 mark as Buskey drove in for the layup off the fast-break assist from Fleming.
- CSU continued to add to their advantage late as Jones' jumper from the top of the key put CSU ahead 78-47 with 6:48 to play.
- Nathan Payne's jumper and acrobatic layup over the final two minutes capped the Bucs' offensive efforts as he put the Bucs ahead 90-54 with 1:35 to play.
- Jamir Moore closed out the scoring with a jumper from the right short corner as the Bucs took the 92-60 win.
News, Notes, & Numbers
- Charleston Southern's win over USC Upstate was the 600th win in program history as the Buccaneers hit the milestone on Saturday night.
- Christian Keeling became the third player in CSU history to achieve 1,500 points and 500 career rebounds following his three-pointer with 15:50 remaining in the second half.
- Keeling joined Ben Hinson (2,295 points, 688 rebounds – 1983-87) and T.L. Latson (1,518 points, 704 rebounds – 1992-96) as the only players in program history to achieve the career mark.
- The Bucs improved their home mark to 9-4 in the 2018-19 season and recorded their fourth 90-plus point game in the Buc Dome this season in the win.
- CSU's 14 three-pointers marked the fourth consecutive game the Bucs have connected on double-digit attempts from behind the arc and 13th time this season.
- Keeling's double-double was his second in a row and eighth of the season.
- The Bucs limited USC Upstate to just 25 rebounds in the game – equaling the lowest mark given up by CSU this season. CSU also limited the Spartans to 25 rebounds in their first matchup on February 2nd.
- It was the eighth time the Bucs shot over 50.0% from the floor on the season and ninth time CSU hit at least 40.0% of its three-point attempts.
Key Stretch - Three dunks over a span of two minutes swung the advantage firmly in Charleston Southern's favor and pushed all the momentum to CSU in the key Big South win.
"I thought our attitude and execution tonight was A-plus. We were extremely unselfish. The ball moved and it was exciting to see us play like that, so efficiently, and use all of our weapons. I think our team is rounding into shape at the right time of year. We need to continue to improve. I knew at some point this team would be good and can we get better than good is the challenge before the tournament." - Head Coach Barclay Radebaugh
Charleston Southern is back on the road this weekend for a Saturday afternoon contest in Rock Hill, S.C. against Winthrop University. Tipoff inside the Winthrop Coliseum is set for 2 p.m. on ESPN3.