CONWAY — The Winthrop men’s basketball team suffered a 73-54 loss at Coastal Carolina, Wednesday night at the HTC Center in Big South Conference action.
Winthrop falls to 12-16 overall and 5-10 in the league, while Coastal Carolina is 14-13 overall and 9-6 in the Big South.
The separation in the game came at the end of the first half as the Eagles pulled within six points with 4:20 to play in the half, but Coastal Carolina finished the half off with a 13-2 run for a 41-24 lead at the break.
Coastal Carolina carried that momentum over to the second half and never let the Eagles back into the game as it maintained its double-figure lead for the final 20 minutes.
The Chanticleers did it on the offensive glass as it had 16 offensive boards that led to 23 points in the first half alone. Coastal and Winthrop both shot 41 percent from the field in the first half, but rebounding was the difference.
“It seemed like every time we got close and we started to narrow the margin, we either missed an easy basket around the rim or we didn’t finish from the free throw line,” said Winthrop head coach Pat Kelsey. “It seemed like so many of our missed free throws were untimely, if you will. I remember Joab (Jerome) going to the line with a chance to cut it to single-digits and he missed both free throws and that’s not something Joab does a lot. On the road, you can’t get outrebounded by 19, you can’t shoot 50 percent from the line or a little bit over that and you can’t turn the ball over like we did in the first half.”
For the game, Coastal Carolina dominated the glass 45-26 and finished with 19 offensive boards that led to 25 second chance points, which was the difference in the game.
Coastal Carolina raced out to a 9-0 lead and led 20-10 at one point, but Winthrop worked its way back to a six-point deficit after a Gideon Gamble three-pointer.
Jerome led Winthrop with 16 points as he was 6-for-10 from the field as Gamble finished with 15 points on 5-for-11 shooting and also pulled down a team-high five rebounds. As a team the Eagles shot 40 percent from the field, 20 percent from behind the arc and just 12-for-22 at the foul line (55 percent).
Coastal Carolina was led by Anthony Raffa’s game-high 18 points while Warren Gillis and Kierre Greenwood added 16 points each.
It was the first time since Jan. 12 at VMI that Winthrop has allowed an opponent to reach 70 or more points in a game. Winthrop had held its previous 12 opponents fewer than 70 points.