CHARLESTON, S.C. (CSU) – Charleston Southern's Arlon Harper scored 23 points and CSU built a double-digit lead in the opening minutes en route to rolling through Barber-Scotia College, 101-69, on Saturday night in Buccaneer Fieldhouse.
CSU moves to 2-5 with a win and Barber-Scotia fall to 1-7.
Harper made 8-of-12 shots from the field and his first three attempts from behind the arc to lead all scorers. He had 17 points in the first half and helped the Bucs build a 19-5 lead in the opening eight minutes, after which they were never really threatened.
CSU did just about anything they wanted offensively against the Sabers. The Bucs were 27-of-39 from two-point range and took 35 free throws, but continued to struggle to find a hot streak from deep. The Bucs made just 7-of-19 three-point attempts.
"We got some good looks tonight," CSU head coach Barclay Radebaugh said following the win. "We really worked hard offensively. We were much more patient and we shared the ball with 19 assists. I'm still looking for us to find that edge and killer instinct. We didn't show one tonight like I wanted.
Barber Scotia got a big boost from its bench. The Sabers had 49 bench points in the game and had three double-figure scorers in its non-starters.
CSU had five players reach double figures. Point guard Saah Nimley added 16 to go with Harper's 23, while Joe Williams notched an early career high with 15, Paul Gombwer added 12 points and seven rebounds, and Cedrick Bowen added 10. The Bucs dominated the front of the rim with a number of dunks and layups.
CSU turns its focus to Tuesday night when it hosts The Citadel. The Bucs' cross-Charleston rival visits the Buc Dome for a 7:30 p.m. tip.
"It's another city rivalry game for us," Radebaugh added. "We have a lot of respect for The Citadel. They're a much improved team. They're big. They're long and they execute their system very well.
It will be a battle. We need our fans out for it. We need the same atmosphere we had against College of Charleston and hopefully we'll come out and play very well."
Jvonnie Sweeney ended Barber-Scotia's almost four minute scoring drought to open the game with a layup to cut the Bucs lead to 6-2. The Sabers struggled to manage much in the way of offense in the opening eight minutes as CSU built a big early lead.
CSU pushed the lead to double figures for the first time on a steal and a layup by Arlon Harper make it 15-4.
The Sabers got a boost off their bench to hang around through the opening half. Barber-Scotia scored 23 of its first 25 points from its bench to stay within striking distance until CSU ripped off seven quick points to extend their lead to at the break, 49-29.
Harper had 17 first-half points for the Bucs, who shot 63 percent in the half but had 10 turnovers.
The Sabers opened the second half hot to keep the lead near 20 points. CSU led 65-44 on a three-pointer by Saah Nimley at the 13:55 mark, but despite the hot hand, the Sabers couldn't close any ground on the Bucs.
CSU moved its lead to its largest margin at the time to 71-48 on a tip in by Cedric Bowen.
B-S's James Parsons knocked down a three with 8:32 left to play to cut the Bucs' lead to 15 at 75-60, but the Sabers could not get any closer.
A layup by Nimley and a steal by Bowen which led to a free throw and a put back by Joe Williams built the lead back out to 20 at 80-60.
Williams finished a fast break with a one-handed dunk and Sexton stole the ensuing inbounds pass and laid it in to give the Bucs their largest lead at 86-60.
CSU had Barber-Scotia worn down in the final five minutes. A two-handed slam by Bowen and another fast-break dunk by Williams sent the lead to 29 points at 93-64.
A fadeaway jumper by Matt Kennedy put the Bucs over the century mark with just over a minute to play.
Both teams were 7-of-19 from three-point range. B-S made a number of tough shots, including connecting on 6-of-9 jumpers to open the second half, to keep things somewhat close.
The Bucs won the rebounding battle, 39-29 and blocked nine shot to go with 13 steals.
The Bucs host The Citadel on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.