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Longwood men’s basketball season ends in first round of Big South Tourney

Seven Longwood University men’s basketball players came just five points away from pulling off an upset, but Charleston Southern University freshman guard Christian Keeling willed the eighth-seeded Buccaneers to a 79-74 win over the No. 9 Lancers in the first round of the Big South Championship on Tuesday evening at The Buc Dome.

It was a back-and-forth battle that — for the second straight game — saw the short-handed Lancers cut a double-digit deficit to one bucket in the closing minutes, only to fall just short on their final possessions.

Longwood was undermanned after losing five total players to injury or illness this season, leaving it with only seven available players Tuesday, one of which was a freshman walk-on.

All-Big South second team forward Khris Lane and redshirt sophomore guard Isaiah Walton led the Lancers with 24 points apiece. Each of them carried Longwood during its second-half comeback, with Walton scoring 17 points after halftime and Lane contributing 14.

The Lancers finished the 2016-17 season with an overall record of 6-24, including a 3-15 mark in the Big South Conference.