CSU 83, Radford 73
Behind freshman Saah Nimley's career-high 22 points, Charleston Southern opened Big South Conference play with an 83-73 win over Radford on Thursday night at the CSU Field House.
Nimley, who played a career-high 36 minutes, had only one turnover as CSU committed a season-low seven turnovers.
"We've been working hard to cut down the turnovers because we're a team that tries to force a lot of turnovers," said CSU coach Barclay Radebaugh. "The problem in the first five games was we were having as many turnovers as the other team. I thought we played very well defensively in the second half. They made eight 3-pointers in the first half and three in the second half. Our guys really gutted this one out on the defensive end tonight."
Junior forward Mathiang Muo continued his hot shooting with 21 points to lead the Buccaneers to a fourth consecutive win after an 0-2 start.
Muo made four 3-pointers in the game, giving him 15 over the last three games. Senior forward Kelvin Martin added 17 points and nine rebounds to go with three blocks and three steals.
On a night when CSU struggled from the floor, shooting only 40.6 percent, the Bucs outscored the Highlanders, 23-12, at the free-throw line, making 19 of 26 free throws in the second half.
R.J. Price led Radford (3-5, 0-1) with 15 points, with Brian Darden adding 13 and Johnathan Edwards 12.
CSU started quickly and opened up a 19-9 lead with 14:25 to play in the opening half. But Radford went on a 23-12 run to take a 32-31 lead with 4:22 left and led, 41-40, at the break.
The teams traded baskets for the first 14 minutes of the second half with neither team holding more than a four-point advantage.
The turning point of the game came with about seven minutes remaining and the score tied at 59. The Buccaneers went on an 11-1 run over the next five minutes to take a 70-60 lead with 2:42 to play.
Nimley sealed the deal with five free throws and a layup, the last bucket giving CSU a 79-67 lead with 46 seconds left.
CSU made all eight free-throw attempts in the final 1:30.
Radebaugh says junior guard Jeremy Sexton, who did not play in the game, is serving a six-game suspension for a violation of school policy. Sexton is averaging 9.4 points per game this season.
The Bucs host VMI on Saturday before traveling to Florida State on Monday night.