Playing three college basketball games in five days, two on the road, with a depleted roster was a little too much to ask of the Charleston Southern Buccaneers as they dropped a 66-52 decision at USC Upstate on Monday night.
The Bucs fall to 12-13 overall and 6-7 in the Big South, sitting in a tie for fifth-place in the standings. The Spartans avenged an earlier season loss to CSU, improving to 11-15 overall and also 6-7 in league play.
Weary shooting legs were evident for the Bucs, who shot just 34 percent from the field, including a 31-percent effort in the second half. CSU made just one of their last 14 shots and one of their last 17 3-point attempts, hitting 4 of 28 attempts from beyond the arc for the game.
Junior Phlandrous Fleming Jr., coming off his third Big South player of the week honor, finished with 21 points to pace the Bucs. Fleming has scored at least 20 points in 13 of his last 15 outings.
Deontaye Buskey added 12 points and Ty Jones chipped in 11 points.
CSU was beaten on the boards 46-31 and managed just one basket and two free throws over the final seven minutes. With the game tied at 48, the Spartans closed out the contest with an 18-4 run.
USC Upstate held a 31-25 lead at the half, but the Buccaneers outscored the Spartans 16-6 in the first eight minutes of the second half to gain their largest lead at 41-37.
Bryson Mozone turned in a 14-point, 14-rebound effort off the bench for USC Upstate. Everette Hammond added 13 points, as did Nevin Zink, who also grabbed 11 rebounds.
Three of CSU’s final five games of the regular season will be at home, starting with Thursday night’s game with High Point.