ATLANTA, GA – Charleston Southern men’s basketball fell down the stretch to the defending Atlantic Coast Conference Champions in the form of Georgia Tech at McCamish Pavilion Monday night. It was a six-point game late but ended 85-70 as the Bucs fall to 2-3 on the season.
Georgia Tech took control of things early, using their defense to command control of the contest. The Yellow Jackets started the game on a swift 16-2 run as Kyle Sturdivant led the charge with seven early points. Sadarius Bowser got the Bucs on the board with a layup, but that would be the only bucket for CSU in the first 6:40 of gameplay.
Tahlik Chavez and Deontaye Buskey jumpstarted the Buc offense, hitting back-to-back treys following the first media timeout. Georgia Tech would continue to answer the CSU charge, as things would hover around an 11-point advantage for the Yellow Jackets for much of the first half. A Chavez three at the 10:24 mark would bring things within single digits for Charleston Southern, but again Georgia Tech would have an answer.
A Buskey trey would again bring it to a 9-point ballgame at 38-29 with 2:18 to play in the opening frame, but the Yellow Jackets would score the remaining four points of the half to push it back to 13. Claudell Harris Jr. had a look for three as time expired that went halfway down, but it would not fall.
Georgia Tech was led by Sturdivant and Jordan Usher, as the duo had 11 points and 10 points respectively. Usher led the way in the rebounding department as well, grabbing four. Both Yellow Jackets finished the opening half 5-7 from the field. For the Bucs, Chavez was the leading scorer with nine and Buskey was right behind with eight of his own. Bowser (6), Taje’ Kelly (4) and Kalib Clinton (2) stood as the only other players to find the book in the scoring department in the opening 20:00.
The Yellow Jackets opening the closing stanza on a 5-1 run to push things to a game-high 17, but CSU would answer right back and make their presence known the rest of the way. The Bucs would go on a 12-4 run in response behind strong play from Chavez and Bowser.
The Bucs would get a close as six down the stretch, as a Cheikh Faye corner trey with 8:22 to play made things 69-63. Both teams would then trade buckets for the following two minutes as momentum would go back-and-forth. Charleston Southern would be fueled by Sean Price on both ends of the floor. A steal and a monster transition flush and then another dunk down the lane on back-to-back possessions kept the visitors in it.
Georgia Tech was able to pull away in the last three minutes as four empty possessions in a row from the Buc offense, including two offensive fouls, allowed the Yellow Jackets to see the rest of the contest out.
Charleston Southern will head to their final Power-5 contest on the road later in the week, as the Bucs will clash with in-state Clemson. Tipoff for that meeting is set for 2 p.m., Friday, November 26.