LYNCHBURG, Va. - No. 5 Charleston Southern takes on top-seed Radford in the opening semifinal game on Saturday afternoon. The Buccaneers advanced to the semifinals for the first time since the 2012 season following their 52-50 win over host and No. 4 seed Liberty on Friday afternoon in the Vines Center. Tipoff on ESPN3 is set for 2 p.m.
The Buccaneers equaled their longest winning streak of the 2016-17 season and enter the semifinal contest with wins over Longwood, Gardner-Webb, Winthrop, and Liberty. The Bucs' No. 5 seed is CSU's highest draw since the 2011-12 season. CSU advanced to the semifinals that season and received a bid to the WBI that same season.
The Bucs have struggled in the semifinal round of the tournament with CSU posting a program 0-9 record in the semifinals. CSU fell in its only semifinal matchup against Radford in the 1996 season, 93-75.
Radford enters the Saturday afternoon semifinal matchup with a 23-7 overall record and finished Big South regular season play as the no. 1 overall seed in the 2016-17 tournament field. The Highlanders advanced to the semifinals following their 54-51 quarterfinal win over Gardner-Webb in Friday's first action of the day. The Highlanders have won seven of their last eight contests including a 67-59 win over CSU in Radford, Va. on September 11.
Destinee Walker led two RU players in double-digits on the season with 13.9 points per game. Jayda Worthy was the other in double figures with 11.9 points and added 7.3 rebounds per game. Janayla White paced the RU rebounding efforts with 8.0 boards per game and added 40 blocks on the season. Walker and Claudia Quevedo were Radford's primary deep threats with 42 three-pointers apiece on the season. Radford holds the 39.1-33.7 rebounding advantage on the season and the 61.4-54.5 scoring margin on the year.
This Season Against Radford
Charleston Southern split the season series with the Highlanders in the 2016-17 regular season with each team defending their home court. The Bucs topped RU in Charleston on January 21, 57-45. RU returned the favor on February 11 at the Dedmon Center in overtime, 67-59.
Charleston Southern 57, Radford 45 (January 21, 2017)
Charleston Southern handed Radford its first conference loss after a second-half comeback effort pushed the Buccaneers past the Highlanders for a 57-45 victory at home. The Buccaneers were led by the double-digit offensive performances of Ke'Asia Jackson (13) Alyssa Mann (12) while Rachel Burns sparked Charleston Southern's defense with a career-high seven steals and seven rebounds.
Radford 67, Charleston Southern 59 (Overtime - February 11, 2017)
Charleston Southern was unable to thwart a strong comeback effort by Radford in falling to the Highlanders on the road in overtime, 67-59, on Saturday afternoon. The Buccaneers (13-10, 7-5) were led by a game-high 16 points from both Alyssa Mann and Rachel Burns, while Radford (17-9, 9-3) was paced by the double-digit performances by Destinee Walker (15) and Janayla White (13).
How CSU Advanced
Elyse Kiploks hit the go-ahead layup with 22 seconds left on the clock off the pass down low from Brianna Lakes and the Charleston Southern defense collected a late rebound with 1.1 seconds remaining as the No. 5 Buccaneers knocked off tournament host and No. 4 Liberty in Friday afternoon's Big South Women's Basketball Championships quarterfinal round, 52-50. Ke'Asia Jackson scored a team-high 16 points in 22 minutes' gameplay on the afternoon. The Big South All-Conference Second Team guard shook off a first half injury to score eight key second half points for the Bucs (18-12). Alyssa Mann keyed an 11-0 CSU run late in the second quarter to give the Bucs a halftime lead and spark the CSU crowd in attendance in the Vines Center.
Bucs against Radford under Applin
CSU is 2-8 against Radford in the Fred Applin era at CSU. The Bucs picked up their lone win at the Dedmon Center on December 28, 2013, as CSU utilized a 27-2 run in topping the Highlanders 84-64. CSU picked up its second win this season in the Buc Dome on January 21.
Bucs against Radford All-Time
CSU is 18-49 all-time against Radford dating back to when the teams first met in the 1986-87 season.
Charleston Southern equaled the most wins in program history with their 18th victory in the 2016-17 season. The Bucs have previously reached the 17-win mark in the 2009-10 and 2011-12 seasons. CSU is one win away from equaling the most overall wins in program history when CSU went 18-10 in the 1998-99 season. CSU's 11 Big South Conference wins were the most in program history dating back to the 2000 season. The 2016-17 season was the Bucs' first double-digit wins mark in conference play with CSU previously achieving nine wins on three separate occasions in the 2000-01, 2009-10, and 2011-12 seasons.