CHARLESTON, S.C. -Jeremy Sexton and Arlon Harper scored 15 points each as South Division-leading Charleston Southern downed UNC Asheville 74-68 at the CSU Fieldhouse Wednesday night.
The Bulldogs (8-10, 2-2 BSC) led by 12 early in the second half but were undone by poor shooting to allow the Bucs to rally for the win. Asheville shot just .345 (10-of29) from the field in the second half.
Trent Meyer scored a game-high 22 points for Asheville. Jeremy Atkinson added 14 points, while Will Weeks finished with 11 points and seven rebounds.
The Buccaneers (9-6, 4-0 BSC) won for the eighth time in their last nine games and are in first place in the South Division at 4-0. Asheville is two games behind at 2-2.
"We played hard and battled but just didn't play well enough to win a tough road game," commented Asheville coach Eddie Biedenbach. "Charleston Southern did a good job on the boards, and we allowed them some easy shots that they made.
"We didn't attach their zone very well and some shots didn't go down that we normally make. Charleston Southern is playing very well, and they showed why they're in first-place right now," added Biedenbach. "This is a tough one to lose because we really put a lot of effort and energy into the game. We had two more turnovers (16) than they did (14) and they had six more rebounds (45-39) and there's your difference in the game."
Weeks' three-point play Asheville back in front 60-59 with 8:15 left. But CSU went on a 9-2 run to take the lead for good at 68-62 when Mathiang Muo made a desperation 3-pointer at the shot clock wound down at the 4:12 mark.
The Bulldogs hung around thanks to Meyer as he scored five straight points late to close to 70-68 with 28 seconds left.
Asheville fouled Harper with 19 seconds left. He sank both free throws to give CSU a 72-68 lead as the Bucs would record their third straight win over the Bulldogs in Charleston.
In the first half, CSU scored nine straight points to take an early 9-2 lead. But the Bulldogs recovered and went on a 14-0 run to silence the sell-out and lead 30-18. Meyer had eight points during the run.
The Bucs began to press and Asheville had five straight turnovers on five consecutive possessions. CSU carved the lead to 32-29, before the Bulldogs rallied and moved the lead to 39-30 at halftime.
Keith Hornsby was held to eight points and did not score in double figures for the first time in 10 games. He did grab nine rebounds and went 6-for-6 from the free throw line, extending his school-record 35 straight free throws.
UNC Asheville begins a three-game homestand on Saturday afternoon when the Bulldogs host Longwood at Kimmel Arena starting at 4:30 p.m.