Bucs no match for High Point in road loss

After evening its Big South Conference record on Monday night with a home win over Campbell, the Charleston Southern Buccaneers fell flat on Thursday night, losing to High Point, 72-61, in a road league contest.

The loss dropped CSU to 7-7 overall and 1-2 in league play while the Panthers improved to 11-4 overall, 2-1 in conference play.

Senior guard Saah Nimley scored 18 points while senior small forward Will Saunders added 13 for Charleston Southern, which shot 40.7 percent from the floor and was beaten badly on the boards, 38-25. CSU came into the game leading the league in rebounding margin.

Senior Arlon Harper and junior Aaron Wheeler each scored 10 points for CSU.

High Point shot 46.3 percent from the field, led by Devante Wallace's 23 points, including five 3-pointers. Forward John Brown, the reigning Big South Player of the Year, also scored 23 points. Wallace also grabbed 11 rebounds while Brown had eight boards.

High Point held a 24-5 edge in second-chance points in the game and converted 14 of 17 free throw attempts.

"Congratulations to High Point for a solid effort on their part," said CSU head coach Barclay Radebaugh. "We just have to keep working and pushing to improve. We're not quite clicking on all cylinders right now, but we are close. We are looking forward to regrouping and getting back to work."

Charleston Southern never led in the game, trailing by as many as seven on two occasions in the first half before falling behind, 40-32, at the break after High Point closed the first half on a 10-3 run. Wallace finished the half with 16 points, including four 3-pointers, while Brown added 10 points.

Charleston Southern cut the margin to four at 42-38 early in the second half but trailed 48-38 with 14:20 left in the game.

High Point pushed its lead to 59-46 with 9:47 remaining, but the Buccaneers trimmed it to 61-54 with 7:40 remaining on Wheelers's basket and free throw.

But the Panthers, who reached the bonus with more than nine minutes remaining in the game, made free throws and the Bucs continued to miss the mark offensively.

High Point scored 10 straight points over a four-minute stretch to put the game away, leading, 71-54, with three minutes remaining.

Charleston Southern returns to action on Saturday with a home against Longwood, the first of two consecutive home conference games. Saturday's game will be CSU's fourth in eight days.

"We have two games at home and we have 15 more conference games on the schedule," said Radebaugh. "We're optimistic and positive about this team. We just need to keep working hard, which this team will do."