It was a wild night in the Big South to tip off the season so let's dive right in!
Bucs Make Their Mark
Certainly the biggest story of the night was Charleston Southern taking down Ole Miss 66-65 in overtime. Cedrick Bowen was the hero when he flushed a dunk with 0.1 seconds left in overtime to seal a victory. I've been more than skeptical of the Bucs this preseason because of so many new pieces being added to Barclay Radebaugh's arsenal. Bowen finished with 12 points and 7 rebounds while Arlon Harper lead the Bucs with 17 points and 4 steals. This was a weird/sloppy game in which both teams shot a combined 31.5% from the field and turned the ball over 34 times. Two Bucs starters, Reuben King and Paul Gombwer, didn't register a point. Nevertheless Radebaugh will take a win over an SEC opponent any day.
High Point Wins 4OT Thriller
John Brown was mysteriously missing from the High Point Panthers lineup again and Scott Cherry has been nothing but cryptic. The Panthers prevailed in a crazy four overtime win over CSU Bakersfield 100-99 without their star paced by 32 points from sharpshooter Devante Wallace. The good news is the Panthers won, the bad news is they might be a little gassed for Saturday's game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff in Hawaii. Will we see the Big South Preseason Player of the Year?
Asheville, Radford Fall to In-State Opponents
Both Asheville and Radford fell to talented in-state opponents last night. Asheville lost 80-69 to Wake Forest giving Danny Manning his first win for the Demon Deacons. Andrew Rowsey accounted for the bulk of the Bulldogs offense dropping 26 points but struggled from three again going 2-for-7.
Radford struggled to get their offense going against a very defensively talented Richmond team with suspended guard YaYa Anderson. Javonte Green was Javonte Green in the Highlanders 64-46 setback scoring 21 points while grabbing 12 boards and registering 2 blocks.
Presbyterian had the pleasure of opening up against Duke's new super freshman team. Let's just say it didn't go well for the Blue Hose as the #4 Blue Devils cruised to a 113-44 win. It was pretty clear that without Reggie Dillard the Hose really lacked any sort of offensive flow. Freshman DeSean Murray was the lone bright spot with a line of 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 steals.
Non-Division I Match Ups
Four Big South squads began their season against Non-Division I opponents and none of them got tripped up. Coastal Carolina won by the biggest margin taking down Trinity Baptist 79-36 behind 16 points off the bench from Josh Cameron.
After nearly tripping up against Coker in an exhibition game Campbell torched Barber-Scotia 97-58 without star Reco McCarter. Five Camels finished in double-figures lead by DJ Mason who played like a big man for Campbell dropping 20 points and 9 rebounds.
Longwood won 79-53 over Averett with star point guard Quincy Taylor due to an NCAA imposed three game suspension. Freshman Ryan Badowski lead the Lancers in his debut with 21 points from seven three-pointers.
Liberty had the "closest call" beating crosstown rival Randolph 69-45. Polish product Tomasz Gielo lead the way with 14 points and 9 rebounds for the new look Flames.