N. CHARLESTON — Winthrop withstood a second half rally by Charleston Southern to capture its eighth straight win to tie the school record for consecutive victories with a 73-65 Saturday Big South Conference victory Saturday afternoon.
The current winning streak ties this Winthrop team with the 1983-84 squad. The Eagles will go for the record on Feb. 9 when they host Campbell.
Freshman center Schaquilla Nunn claimed her 10th double-double of the season with a 16-point, 14-rebound performance to lead the Eagles. Junior guard Dequesha McClanahan led Winthrop in scoring with 17 points while freshman guard Aliyah Kilpatrick finished with 16 and converted two free throws with 16 seconds left to clinch the win.
Winthrop improves to 9-2 in league play and 15-8 overall after sweeping the regular season series with CSU, and remains tied with Liberty for first place in the Big South Conference.
The Eagles claimed a 85-65 win at home on Jan. 17. CSU drops to 6-14, 1-10.
Winthrop looked like it was going to win its seventh straight game in easy fashion as it led by as many as 19 points at 46-27 with just over 16 minutes left in the game, but CSU went on a 11-0 run to trail 46-38 with 11:32 remaining following a lay-up by Zhaquondalee Greer. Winthrop withstood that blow by surging to a 16-point lead at 59-43 on a three-point play from Samiya Wright, but the Bucs had one last rally.
Behind the scoring of Lakeitha Alston, who finished as the game’s leading scorer with 24 points, CSU outscored the Eagles 19-8 over a stretch of 5 minutes, 12 seconds to trail 67-62 with just under a minute left to play, but the Eagles put the game on ice by connecting on six straight free throws (two each by McClanahan, Choibekova, and Kilpatrick) in the final 39 seconds to squelch CSU’s upset hopes.
The Eagles never trailed as they jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead. Nunn scored the first basket following an offensive rebound. She nearly had a double-double in the first 15 minutes as she had 10 points and nine boards when she picked up her second foul and had to sit down with 5:48 left in the period and Winthrop up 28-13.
Winthrop went up by 17 with 5:27 when Diana Choibekova connected on her first 3-pointer to put the Eagles up 31-14. Winthrop took a 37-25 lead at intermission after holding the Lady Bucs to 25 percent shooting on 7 of 28 field goals. The outside shooting of Erin Bratcher kept CSU within striking distance as she connected on three 3-pointers.
Winthrop shot 41 percent for the game (25-61) and held CSU to 36 percent (22-61). Winthrop is 15-2 on the season when it holds opponent to 40 percent or under shooting. The Eagles also won the rebound battle 47-37, and are 11-1 when they win the glass.
The Feb. 9 game against Campbell will be Black Out Day as the Eagles will be wearing their black uniforms and are encouraging the fans to wear black to the game. Tip-off for the Big South double header is 1 p.m. Winthrop’s men will host Longwood at 4 p.m.
Winthrop (73): Dequesha McClanahan 6-21 4-5 17, Aliyah Kilpatrick 5-7 4-10 16, Schaquilla Nunn 8-12 0-0 16, Diana Choibekova 2-11 4-4 9, Taylor Calebrt 0-2 6-8 6, Samiya Wright 2-6 1-3 5, Christina Solmon 1-1 0-0 2, Tiffany Charles 1-1 0-0 2, Ashley Porter 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-61 19-30 73.
Charleston Southern (65): Lakeitha Alston 7-16 9-12 24, Erin Bratcher 5-12 0-0 15, DJ Fowler 3-9 1-2 8, Anicia Dotson 1-7 2-3 4, Whitney Collins 2-4 0-0 4, Zhaquondalee Greer 3-12 0-0 8, Monique Maximilien 1-1 0-1 2, Carra Coy 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-61 12-18 65.
3-pointers: Winthrop 4-16 (Kilpatrick 2), Charleston Southern 9-22 (Bratcher 5). Rebounds: Winthrop 47 (Nunn 14), Charleston Southern 37 (Alston 8). Assists: Winthrop 8 (McClanahan 3), Charleston Southern 11 (Fowler 5). A: 121.