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Big South Quarterfinals Recap

March 3, 2004 Conference Notes No Comments

Big South Conference Quarterfinals Recap

Recap by Jeremy Dunlap

Game 1 – (1) Liberty 60, (8) Charleston Southern 54
The top-seeded Liberty Flames did not have an easy time with Charleston Southern, but were able to withstand the upset bid by the Buccaneers and hold on to win, 60-54. Liberty never led by more than ten points in the contest and even trailed as late as eleven minutes into the second half, but closed the game out with a 20-11 run to continue their quest for an NCAA bid. Liberty freshman David Dees was the star of the game, scoring a game-high nineteen points and hitting a three-pointer to tie the game with under nine minutes remaining, which keyed the game-ending run that led to the Flames’ victory. Senior guard Ed O’Neil played a strong game for Charleston Southern, leading them with sixteen points and seven assists.

Game 2 – (4) Coastal Carolina 67, (5) Radford 62
A seven-point Radford lead quickly disappeared midway through the second half as a fourteen-point run by Coastal Carolina gave the Chanticleers a lead that they would never relinquish and the 67-62 victory. The win by the Chants was their first in a Big South Tournament game since 1993 and their first win over Radford in fifteen tries. Coastal Carolina’s Kelvin Coggins hit a pair of three-pointers during the run, the second giving Coastal their first lead of the second half. Senior guard E.J. Gallup led the Chanticleers with 21 points behind four three-pointers. Radford junior Olumuyiwa Popoola led the Highlanders with fourteen points in the game. The game was close throughout, with the teams tied at 35 going into the half.

Game 3 – (2) High Point 75, (7) VMI 43
The result was never in doubt as High Point controlled the game from start to finish and destroyed the conference’s newest team, 75-43. The Panthers jumped out to a 26-11 lead in the first ten minutes and never looked back, taking a 40-15 lead into the locker room at halftime. VMI scored the first bucket of the second half on a Matt Murrer dunk, but never got any closer, falling behind by as much as 37 en route to the 32-point defeat. High Point was able to empty its bench early as ten Panthers played at least ten minutes. Big South Player of the Year Danny Gathings led the way for High Point with eighteen points on 8-of-10 shooting. VMI senior forward Radee Skipworth led all Keydet scorers with fourteen points.

Game 4 – (6) UNC Asheville 49, (3) Winthrop 46
A second half rally and strong defensive effort led to UNC Asheville knocking off Winthrop in the Big South Tournament for the second consecutive season, as the Bulldogs came back from a five point halftime deficit to win 49-46. Winthrop held a double-digit lead in the second half, but the Eagles were unable to convert on the offensive end and failed to stop UNC Asheville down the stretch. The Bulldogs held the Eagles to 32.8 percent from the field and 1-of-18 from the three-point arc. UNCA also only committed twelve fouls all night, which led to only eight free-throw attempts for Winthrop. Oliver Holmes (thirteen points, seven rebounds) and K.J. Garland (thirteen points, eight rebounds) were the leaders for the Bulldogs in the win.

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