CONWAY — Joab Jerome's bucket with 1.5 seconds to play in overtime lifted Winthrop to a 60-58 victory over Radford in the opening round of the 2013 Big South Conference tournament Tuesday.
The win sends the Eagles into the second round, where they will play Charleston Souther at noon on Thursday. Charleston Southern is the top seed from the Big South’s South Division.
With the game tied at 58, the Eagles rebounded a three-point attempt held the ball for the final shot. After a Winthrop timeout, Jerome gained possession with just under 10 seconds to play.
He backed in his defender, drove to the lane, gave a pump fake and slipped through two defenders for the winning basket.
The field goal gave him a career-high 22 points. He also pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds. For the second straight game, Reggie King set a career-high in points with 11.
The win was the second straight for the Eagles as they improve to 14-16 on the year. Radford finishes the season with a 13-19 record.
“I think more than anything else I was proud of our guys’ resolve and their resiliency when we got down five in overtime,” said Winthrop head coach Pat Kelsey. “I was proud of our guys’ effort. Jerome had the heart of a lion today. He was a monster. We just kept going to him and he kept producing. It was a great team win. My goodness, I kept looking out there and saying how in the heck can we get the ball to Joab Jerome and he really stepped up for us.”
Winthrop led by four points with 2:02 to play in the game when Rashun Davis brought the Highlanders back with two free throws at the 1:39 mark and then tied the game at 52 with 38 seconds left with a floater in the lane. Jerome had a chance to win the game in regulation as he faked a dribble penetration and pulled up for three with about five seconds to play, but the shot missed.
Radford was led by Davis' 18 points while Javonte Green chipped in with 12 points as Radford shot 37 percent for the game and was 0-for-3 from the field in overtime. Winthrop shot 39 percent in the game and committed just 10 turnovers in the game after seven miscues in the first half.