CSU Sports Media
Dontrell Shuler hit a pair of free throws with 18 seconds remaining to help propel Charleston Southern past Big South leader Radford on Saturday evening at the Buccaneer Field House, 53-52.
CSU (12-13, 6-6 Big South) trailed by five points with 3:26 remaining following Radford’s Ed Polite Jr. converting the second of two free throw attempts. The conversion pushed the Highlanders (18-8, 10-2 Big South) ahead, 52-47, heading into the final media timeout of the game.
The Buccaneers steadily chipped away at the Radford lead late as Shuler drove in for the layup with 2:22 remaining and converted the and-1 following the foul from Devonnte Holland. Travis McConico added a free throw conversion at the 1:45 mark to cut the Highlanders lead down to one point at 52-51.
Shuler continued his strong defensive play late in games as the freshman came up with a key blocked shot on a driving layup by Carlik Jones with 30 seconds remaining to swing possession back to the Buccaneers. CSU’s defense stood strong with Radford scoring only Polite’s free throw over the final 7:15 of the game.
Shuler’s number was called again on CSU’s final offensive possession of the game and the freshman guard was fouled and sent to the line. He calmly converted both attempts and provided key defense on the final Radford defensive possession in CSU’s one-point win.
Christian Keeling led the Bucs with a game-high 15 points in the game and added 11 rebounds for his 12th career double-double. Nate Louis added 13 points, including a game-high four three-pointers, while Travis McConico had 12 points and eight rebounds off the bench.
Polite Jr. had 15 points and 15 rebounds to pace the Highlanders on Saturday. Carlik Jones filled the statistics sheet with 12 points, nine rebounds, eight assists, and four steals over 35 minutes of play.
“Radford is a really good team - a team that has won a lot of games, a lot of close games. We spent the last two days talking about defense. We were connected and we played team defense. We grinded and did a lot with a very small lineup. Big growth on the defensive end and a great team win.” – Head Coach Barclay Radebaugh.
Charleston Southern is back at home on Thursday afternoon for another key Big South matchup as the Buccaneers host USC Upstate at the Buccaneer Field House. Tipoff between the Bucs and the Spartans is set for 7:30 p.m.