Bucs suffer 1st road loss

Courtesy CSU Athletics Charleston Southern's Saah Nimley has his path cut off by Winthrop's Joseph Lopez on Monday night.

Little went right for the Charleston Southern men’s basketball team in Monday night’s 77-55 Big South Conference loss at Winthrop.

Turnovers and poor shooting led to an early deficit, and the Buccaneers never fully recovered in dropping to 13-9 overall and 7-4 in Big South play.

The loss was CSU’s 14th straight at the Winthrop Coliseum dating back to the 2001-02 season.

Winthrop improved to 12-10 overall and 7-4 in conference play. The teams will not meet again this season so Winthrop will hold the head-to-head edge in case of a tie-breaker at season’s end.

Charleston Southern shot 35 percent from the floor, making only 4 of 28 shots from beyond the arc — the team’s lowest output of the conference season. Senior point guard Saah Nimley led CSU with 15 points but was 1 of 8 from 3-point range. Senior Will Saunders and junior Aaron Wheeler added 12 points each. Senior guard Arlon Harper scored six points and went over 1,500 career points while making his 100th career start.

Keon Moore scored 19 points and Andre Smith had 18 for Winthrop, which shot 53 percent from the floor. Derrick Henry scored 13 points, all in the second half.

“I thought Winthrop came out very aggressive from the start and we seemed to be back on our heels from the get-go,” said CSU coach Barclay Radebaugh. “It was a tough night for us. Winthrop certainly played harder and better than we did. It wasn’t our night tonight, but we have to put this one behind us and get ready for the next one.”

Charleston Southern committed 10 turnovers and made only 1 of 15 3-point attempts in the first half, falling behind 42-26 at half. CSU led once in the half, at 7-6, three minutes into the game.

Things never got better for the Buccaneers in the second half. Henry scored nine straight points during a stretch to give the Eagles a 56-35 lead with 13:17 remaining in the game.

The lead stayed in double figures throughout the remainder of the game, stretching to 24 at 67-43 with just over seven minutes left in the contest. Winthrop’s largest lead of the game (73-46) came with 4:55 remaining.

CSU will play its third consecutive road game on Friday night at Radford.

“We just need to get home and get in some good preparation for a very tough Radford team, a team that just beat us last week,” said Radebaugh. “It’s a tough, competitive league. To compete in this league you have to be emotionally and physically prepared for battle every single night.”