CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern will travel to Winthrop to close out the 2016-17 regular season on Saturday afternoon. Tipoff between the Bucs and the Eagles is set for 4:00 p.m. and fans can follow the action via Live Stats on CSUsports.com and in-game updates on Twitter: @CSUGameDay.
Winthrop enters Saturday's matchup with a 1-16 mark in the conference, recording a lone 78-72 win at home against Longwood on January 24. While the Eagles hold the 39-32 advantage in their series with the Buccaneers, CSU has topped Winthrop in the last three meetings.
The Eagles are led by Erica Williams. The senior guard/forward leads the Big South Conference with 15.8 points per game and is ranked sixth in the league with a team-high 6.5 rebounds per game. Williams has scored 20+ points in three of the Winthrop's last four games and is shooting 39.4 percent from the floor this season. Freshman Danyael Goodhope is another notable Eagle to watch. Goodhope is the second-highest scorer on the team with an average of 8.6 points per game and leads the Big South with 2.3 steals per game.
Kevin Cook enters his fifth season as head coach of the Winthrop University women's basketball program. During his four seasons, Cook has guided the Eagles to their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance and Big South Conference Championship, along with the program's first Division I postseason win in the 2013 WNIT. Cook helped the program achieve back-to-back 20-plus win seasons for the first time in school history in 2012-13 and 2013-14. He became the program's 14th head coach following one year as an assistant coach. Entering the 2016-17 slate, Cook's record at Winthrop stood at 66-60, with an overall record of 113-115 in his eight years of collegiate coaching.
Last Time Against Winthrop
Charleston Southern 71, Winthrop 52 (January 14, 2017)
Ke'Asia Jackson scored a game-high 23 points to pace Charleston Southern past Winthrop in a 71-52 home victory on Saturday afternoon. Jackson had her ninth perfect performance from the stripe, sinking 7-of-7 from the charity line and solidifying her spot as the leading free-throw shooter in the Big South and one of the top-10 in the NCAA.
Jasmine Blackmon also scored double-digits for the Buccaneers (8-7, 2-2) with a career-high 14 points in the paint and sinking seven of eight basket attempts (87.5%) from the floor. Alyssa Mann recorded a team-high seven assists in a game where nine CSU players contributed points.
The Buccaneers topped Winthrop (1-15, 0-4) in every quarter and held the offensive advantage, shooting 40.0% against the Eagles' 34.3%. CSU's Shauntavia Dobson and Breannah Bretches scored the only three-pointers of the game and added a combined 10 points in the Buccaneer victory. Charleston Southern's defense did not disappoint, forcing 13 Winthrop turnovers in the first half that the Bucs would capitalize on for a 31-20 lead at halftime. Brianna Lakes and Rachel Burns attacked the boards to share a team-high seven rebounds in the contest.
Winthrop was paced by the double-double performance of Erica Williams. The senior guard/forward recorded 15 points and 15 rebounds in the Eagles' loss.
Charleston Southern maintained their double-digit halftime lead as Blackmon closed out the third quarter with three consecutive baskets off of passes from Mann and Jackson, scoring her 10th point and giving the Buccaneers a 52-34 lead going into the final ten minutes of the contest.
Winthrop continued to struggle with ball control in the fourth quarter, recording 19 total turnovers. The Buccaneers kept the momentum with back-to-back buckets from Tierra Steede for their biggest lead of the game, pulling ahead 60-34 with 6:56 left on the clock.
The Eagles were only able to cut the Bucs' lead down to 19 in the final quarter as Williams recorded five points in the final minutes, while Danyael Goodhope and Marissa Cantrell added baskets as time expired. Blackmon scored the Buccaneers' last two baskets of the game to close out the 71-52 CSU victory.
Recapping CSU's Last Game
Charleston Southern 51, Gardner-Webb 48
Charleston Southern sparked a second half comeback to defeat Gardner-Webb, 51-48, on Monday night.
The Buccaneers (16-12, 10-7) were paced by double-digit performances from sophomore duo Ke'Asia Jackson and Rachel Burns. Jackson finished the night with a team-high 11 points and gave CSU the go-ahead basket with just under two minutes left on the clock.
CSU traded baskets with Gardner-Webb (11-17, 6-11) during the opening minutes of the first quarter. Brianna Lakes got a 7-0 scoring run going for the Bucs with a pair of free throws that Jackson followed with a three-pointer. Burns wrapped up the run with a layup for a 13-6 CSU lead with three minutes remaining.
GWU's Tierra Huntsman responded with a basket from beyond the arc and the Runnin' Bulldogs closed out the quarter with nine unanswered points for the 15-13 lead. Huntsman finished the night with a game-high 16 points.
Freshman Jasmine Blackmon returned the lead to the Bucs with back-to-back layups to put the score at 19-17 with just under five minutes to play in the half. GWU tied the game back up with a layup from Alexus Hill and pulled ahead with an 8-0 run over the Bucs. With a minute left in the half, Burns went to the stripe to put CSU within four. Breannah Bretches closed out the quarter with the Bucs' last basket, sinking a three-pointer to trail the Runnin' Bulldogs 25-24 at the half.
The Buccaneers found their shot in the second half and Lakes led CSU with seven rebounds in the final 20 minutes of the contest. The senior forward finished the night just shy of a double-double, recording a game-high 10 rebounds and eight points in the road win.
In a game made up of eight ties and six lead changes, the Bucs pulled ahead once again in the third quarter with a jumper from Elyse Kiploks as 6:32 remained on the clock. Alyssa Mann ended the quarter at the stripe, sinking a pair of free throws for the Bucs' to give CSU a 37-32 lead heading into the final 10 minutes of play.
Huntsman opened the fourth quarter with a jump shot to make it a one-possession game, but Lakes responded with a jumper to put the Bucs back up by five. Huntsman recorded the Runnin' Bulldogs next two baskets and added a pair of free throws to put the score at 41-39 less than one minute into the quarter. Kierra Currie returned the advantage to GWU with back-to-back three pointers in the seventh minute, but Mann responded with a jumper and a basket from beyond the arc for the 46-45 Buccaneer lead.
Savannah Plentovich would tie up the game one last time with a three-pointer at the 2:19 mark and a score of 48-48. Jackson recorded the Bucs' go-ahead and game-winning basket with a jumper as 1:59 remained on the clock. Burns added a free throw with nine seconds remaining and a Huntsman three-pointer attempt at the buzzer wrapped up CSU's road win.