Gabriel leads VMI past Charleston Southern 90-81

The Associated PressFebruary 24, 2012

LEXINGTON, Va. (AP) Keith Gabriel scored 22 of his 31 points in the second half as Virginia Military Institute defeated Charleston Southern 90-81 Thursday night.

Gabriel hit two 3-pointers during a 14-0 run early in the second half when the Keydets (14-14, 8-9 Big South Conference) took a 51-37 lead.

The Buccaneers (17-11, 10-7), who beat VMI 114-81 on Dec. 3, closed the gap to 74-70 with 4:14 left, but Stan Okoye's three-point play made it 77-70 with 3:08 to go.

VMI led 35-23 with 3:23 left in the first half before Charleston Southern scored 12 of the next 14 points to trail 37-35 at halftime.

Okoye finished with 17 points for VMI, which remained in the race for a first-round bye in the conference tournament.

Kelvin Martin had 31 points and 11 rebounds for the Buccaneers, who made 3 of 18 3-pointers after making 13 of 22 in the teams' first meeting.