Charleston Southern used 27 points from Armel Potter and seven three-pointers, including six in the second half, to pull away from the Presbyterian College men’s basketball team, 77-63, in Big South action at the Buccaneer Field House in Charleston, S.C. The Blue Hose, who were led by 18 from DeSean Murray, cut the lead to single digits on several occasions in the second half but could not overcome a hot shooting home team.
PC falls to 8-16 overall and 3-10 in the Big South, while the Bucs move to 9-16, 5-9. The Blue Hose are back in action at home against Campbell, Saturday, Feb. 13, in a 7 p.m., contest.
PC led by as much as four in the first half, relying on hot shooting from Murray, who had eight points in the first four-and-a-half minutes. The Blue Hose led 10-6 at the 15:26 mark, but it was the Bucs the next six and a half minutes with a 14-2 run, helped by six from Reuben King, to take an eight-point, 20-12 lead, 9:05 to go before intermission.
A three-point play by Murray at the 8:26 mark cut the margin to five, but Potter’s layup 20 seconds later made it a seven-point game. It was the beginning of a four minute scoring drought for PC with the visitors connecting on just two of 11 shots, as CSU built a 12-point, 27-15 lead, 5:39 left. Murray stopped the drought with two free throws in the fourth minute to make it a 10-point game.
After CSU went up by 14, CSU cut the margin to 10 again with a basket by Ruben Arroyo at 1:51. That would be the last basket as the Bucs came away with the final four points of the half to send the home team into the locker room with the 37-23 lead.
PC finished the half shooting 28.6% for the half, with CSU not much better at 38.7%, but with more shot attempts at 31 to 21. The Bucs got eight of their points off turnovers as the Blue Hose coughed it up seven times to CSU’s one in the first.
The Blue Hose opened the second half with an 8-3 run to cut CSU’s lead to nine, 40-31, 16:09 remaining, but a Buc three by Javis Howard made it a 12-point game again, 43-31, 15:24 left.
Will Adams, with his first three of the night, cut the lead to nine again with just under 13 to play, but it was Patrick Wallace with back to back threes in response to propel the Bucs back up to double-digits less than a minute later, 53-38, 11:19 on the clock. It was the start of an 18-6 run over the next five minutes that saw CSU build a 21-point, 65-44 lead, 7:17 to go.
CSU would lead by 22 with just under four to play before a three by Reggie Dillard and layup by Jaron Withers over the next minute made it a 17-point game, 72-55, 2:50 to go. PC cut the margin to 14 twice in the final two minutes but it would not be enough as CSU came away with the 77-63 win.
Following Murray and his 18 points was Dillard with 12 points and a team-leading seven rebounds. King paced CSU with 10 rebounds to add to his 13 points.
PC finished with 39.1% from the field after hitting 48.0% in the second half. CSU shot 43.3% and held the rebounding margin, 43-27, resulting in a 16-4 advantage in second chance points. The Blue Hose hit five three-pointers to the Bucs’s seven and hit 22-of-30 from the charity stripe, to CSU’s 18-of-27 effort. After seven turnovers in the first half, PC committed just two in the second for nine total.