The Big South may be the most fun conference to watch in the country just for the shear parity right now. Through three games the conference has already had five overtime affairs, three of which ended up in double overtime. Here is a look at Thursday's action.
Gardner-Webb Outlasts Radford in Double Overtime
The Running Bulldogs and the Highlanders was the marquee match up on Thursday night and was promoted to ESPNU by the conference. The game did not disappoint as the Highlanders went into their second straight double-overtime affair and eventually lost 88-85 in Boiling Springs. Jerome Hill and Tyrell Nelson once again dominated the paint combining for 48 points and 21 rebounds. Tyler Strange was the third Bulldog with a double-double with 16 points and 13 assists. The win gets Gardner-Webb to 2-1 after losing to Asheville last week and gets the Bulldogs set for a big showdown versus Winthrop on Saturday.
Mike Jones and Radford has to feel like they just can't breakthrough at this point as the Highlanders are off to an unexpected 0-3 start. Radford has lost at the buzzer and lost two double overtime affairs. Javonte Green was a hero again and continues to be pound for pound the best player in the Big South with 28 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, and 3 blocks. The good news is the Highlanders head home to host Presbyterian on Saturday.
Winthrop Sneaks Past Presbyterian
Winthrop got more trouble than they expected last night when they had to battle Presbyterian to a 57-56 win behind 15 points from Keon Moore. The Blue Hose are suddenly showing a lot of life after beating Liberty and now nearly knocking off the Eagles. Jordan Downing was held to only 9 points but Markus Terry picked up the slack with 24 points and 10 rebounds. William Truss also had a double-double for the Hose with 15 points and 10 boards, it was the fourth double-double of the year for Truss.
Duby Okeke continued his breakout in conference play for Winthrop posting 13 points, 5 blocks, and 4 rebounds off the bench. The young frontcourt of Okeke, Xavier Cooks, and Joseph Lopez will get their toughest test of the season Saturday at Gardner-Webb.
Coastal Survives Longwood's Upset Bid
Coastal Carolina continues to win games and Longwood continues to compete in every Big South affair. Last night the Chanticleers took down the Lancers 76-70 behind 15 points from Shivaughn Wiggins and an 9-10 performance from the free throw line. Warren Gillis also had 15 points while Badou Diagne and Elijah Wilson also posted 13 points. Diagne had a double-double as he added 12 rebounds for the host Chants. Cliff Ellis' squad will now head to the Vines Center at 3-0 to take on 0-3 Liberty on Saturday.
For Longwood, they move to 1-2 but have to be encouraged by the effort Thursday with Shaquille Johnson very limited due to illness. Lotanna Nwogbo continued to be a beast for the Lancers with his third straight double-double, this time posting 21 points and 12 boards against the Big South favorites. Quincy Taylor also had a solid night with 14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 0 turnovers for the Lancers' star point guard. The Lancers will head to the Buc Dome Saturday looking to win at Charleston Southern for the second straight year.
Brown, Wallace Send High Point Over Charleston Southern
High Point never felt too much pressure in a 72-61 home win over Charleston Southern last night. Devante Wallace lead the Panthers with his first double-double since December 18, 2013 behind 23 points and 11 rebounds. John Brown is still searching for his first double-double of the season with 23 points and 8 boards. The Panthers never trailed in this one and now get ready for a match up with rival Campbell on Saturday.
Charleston Southern will head home 1-2 after only getting 5 points and 10 rebounds from their starting frontcourt last night. Saah Nimley lead the Bucs with 18 points and 8 assists after nearly playing the whole game for Barclay Radebaugh.
Asheville Moves to 3-0, Liberty Moves to 0-3
The Bulldogs were on cruise control in taking down Liberty 71-54 behind 20 points from David Robertson. Andrew Rowsey posted 13 points but was 5-for-21 shooting last night and 1-for-12 from three. Rowsey looked like a guy that wanted to get back into rhythm after averaging just five points in the first two conference games. I think that's still the story to watch for the Bulldogs as he's shooting just over 25% in conference play and now seems to be going in and out of chucker mode. Australian big man Chudeir Pal got the start last night for UNCA and got his first career double-double behind 10 points and 11 boards. Asheville will be the sole team off this weekend and awaits a Wednesday match up with Winthrop.
Liberty shot just 35.4% from the field and continues to struggle with turnovers as they had 17 last night. Andrew Smith was sent to the bench for the first time this season and only posted 4 points and 4 rebounds. David Andoh was the lone bright spot with 14 points and 6 rebounds for the Flames.