Charleston Southern rallies by Campbell in Big South first round
Arlon Harper scored 20 points and Charleston Southern rallied for an 81-71 win over Campbell Wednesday in the first round of the VisitMyrtleBeach.com Big South Championship at The HTC Center in Conway, S.C.
Will Saunders added 18 points, Sheldon Strickland 14 and Matt Kennedy 13 for Charleston Southern (13-17), which will meet host and South Division top seed Coastal Carolina in Friday’s 6 p.m. quarterfinal.
Reco McCarter led Campbell (12-20) with 19 points on 7-of-16 shooting, plus five assists. Leek Leek and D.J. Mason added 13 points apiece for the Camels.
Campbell led by as many as 15, 41-26, in the first half and by nine at the break. CSU shot 52 percent (15-29) from the floor in the final period, while the Camels cooled off after a hot start.
The Camels jumped to a double-digit edge by the third media timeout after hitting 11 of their first 18 shots, including 6 of 9 triples. McCarter (10), Mason (7) and Leek (7) combined for 24 points as CU led 32-21 with 7:56 left in the opening half.
McCarter’s off-balance jumper in the lane pushed Campbell’s edge to 41-26 with 1:30 left in the opening half. However, CSU trimmed the margin to 42-33 at intermission.
Before the first media break of the second half, the Bucs cut the gap to 48-43 after Kennedy’s triple with 15:32 to play.
Andrew Ryan’s trey pushed the Camel lead back to 53-46 with 13:55 to go, but after Cedrick Bowen scored in the paint, the game was a two-possession affair until the final 32 seconds of play.
Kyre’ Hamer’s three from the right corner gave Campbell a 61-55 cushion with 10:14 left, but CSU reeled off a 13-3 rally and led 68-64 following Kennedy’s bucket with 7:09 to go.
Luke Moyer connected on Campbell’s season-tying 13th three-pointer with 6:28 remaining to draw the Camels within one (68-67), but CU did not score from the floor again.
Charleston Southern went nearly six minutes without a field goal down the stretch, but the Bucs made 9-11 from the line in the final 3:56 to preserve the victory.
“I thought we played really hard,” said Campbell head coach Kevin McGeehan. “We were not as ready to guard in the second half as we needed to be.”
The Bucs finished the game shooting 47.4 percent (27-57) from the floor, including 9-27 from beyond the arc (.333), and 72 percent (18-25) from the stripe. Charleston Southern finished with a 41-26 advantage on the boards.
“We put ourselves in a position to win a lot of basketball games this year,” said McGeehan. “We were right on the cusp of doing something special. I’m proud of our group. We have a ton of material to work with as we learn how to win together.”
Radford 78, Presbyterian 73
CONWAY, S.C. (AP) — Ya Ya Anderson scored 18 points as third-seeded Radford hung on to beat No. 6 seed Presbyterian 78-73 in the first round of the Big South Conference tournament Wednesday.
Radford was up 70-59 with 4:49 left, but Presbyterian stormed back to trail by just one with 27 seconds left. Radford's Rashun Davis made two free throws with 20 seconds remaining and Presbyterian's Jordan Downing missed a long 3-pointer that would have tied it. Javonte Green sealed it with two free throws.
Green finished with 16 points for Radford (21-11) and R.J. Price added 15.
Downing scored 32 for Presbyterian (6-26) and Reggie Dillard had 13.
After surrendering a 19-4 run, Presbyterian got within single-digits until Davis' 3-pointer, Radford's seventh of the game, ended an 8-3 PC run and gave the Highlanders a 65-54 lead with 7:12 left.
Radford will play No. 2 seed UNC Asheville in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Winthrop 77, Liberty 65
CONWAY, S.C. (AP) — Keon Johnson scored 15 points as fourth-seeded Winthrop beat defending tournament champion Liberty 77-65 to open the Big South Conference tournament on Wednesday.
Keon Moore, Andre Smith and Joab Jerome had 14 apiece for Winthrop (18-12). The Eagles made all 21 of their free throws and hit 8 of 22 from 3-point range. Jerome made all nine of his free throws, Johnson made three 3-pointers and Moore had eight rebounds.
Andrew Smith led No. 5 seed Liberty (11-21) with 17 points and Joe Retic added 15. The Flames were up by as many as 12 in the first half.
The game was knotted at 51 with 7:52 left. Then Johnson hit back-to-back 3-pointers to start a 10-2 run to pull away. Moore's free throws at the 1:33 mark gave Winthrop its first double-digit lead of the game.
Winthrop moves on to play top-seeded High Point in the quarterfinals on Friday.