By: CSU Sports Media
Facing an unbeaten rival and down to seven players, Charleston Southern gave itself a chance in the final seconds Tuesday of another heavyweight fight between longtime rivals.
Winthrop (9-0, 6-0 Big South) and Charleston Southern (1-7, 0-4 Big South) traded baskets and exchanged five leads in the contest before a three-point try came up just short giving the visiting Eagles a 78-76 win from Buccaneer Field House in an instant classic.
Phlandrous Fleming Jr. backed his Preseason Player of the Year prediction with 33 points, seven rebounds, three assists and four steals but had to sit the final moments after a fifth foul. CSU wouldn’t go away though as freshman Emorie Knox hit two clutch three-point baskets to make it a 77-76 Eagle lead with just 1:10 to play.
A Charles Falden free throw with 12.1 to play set the stage for a chance to knock Winthrop from the ranks of the unbeaten, but a three-point attempt came up just short at the buzzer to give the visitors the sweep.
Fleming’s 33 points were just one shy of tying a career-high while Emorie Knox had 13 just one day after a career-best 15 Monday. Sean Price tied a career-high with 16 for the Bucs while Falden’s 17 paced Winthrop and Kelton Talford added 12 in the win.
Charleston Southern concludes an eight-game homestand that started on Dec. 1 as they welcome Radford to Buccaneer Field House for a pair Jan. 9 and 10 on ESPN+. Tipoff Saturday is slated for 5 p.m.