Winthrop women 3-0 in Big South for first time

Herald correspondentDecember 30, 2013 

An undefeated record at this point on the Big South Conference women’s basketball calendar won’t make anybody’s season a success just yet.

But for Winthrop, it’s historic.

Four players scored in double figures, led by Samiya Wright’s 19 points, as the Eagles (8-3) dispatched the Charleston Southern Buccaneers 69-49 on Monday afternoon at Winthrop Coliseum. The win marked the first-ever 3-0 start in conference play for Winthrop, which has won four of its last five games.

“We can’t start celebrating too early, because we still have a lot of work to do,” said freshman forward Erica Williams, who scored 14 points and gathered nine rebounds. “But it’s a great start to the conference season.”

Winthrop coach Kevin Cook agreed.

“I like milestones,” he said. “And I guess no Winthrop team has ever been 4-0 in the conference either, so we just need to keep it rolling.”

Sophomore center Schaquilla Nunn scored 17 points and senior point guard Dequesha McClanahan scored 10 points and tied a season-high with 14 assists.

The Eagles survived an early flurry of three-pointers by the Buccaneers (4-7, 0-2) to take control of the game midway through the first half.

They shot 62 percent in the first half on the way to a 44-25 lead at the break and took their largest lead of the game at 57-34 on a three-pointer by Wright with 13 minutes and 39 seconds to play in the game. After that, Charleston Southern never got closer than 14 points (61-47) on a layup by Erin Bratcher with about 5 minutes left.

Cook praised his team’s defensive effort, which has held opponents to 50 points or less for the last two games. Charleston Southern shot 25 percent from the field.

“If we keep defending like that we’ll be fine,” he said. “Nobody in the program was pleased with the second half of our last game (on Saturday, when Presbyterian cut a 16-point deficit to five before Winthrop pulled out the win). So we had a tremendous practice yesterday and it carried over to today.”

He also noted the importance of McClanahan’s big assist day, in view of the fact that the senior point guard, a 20-point-per-game scorer, has put up 19 points in her last two games combined.

“I feel good about her game,” Cook said. “It proves she doesn’t have to go out and get 20 points for us to be successful.”

Guard Taylor Calvert didn’t score for the Eagles, but pulled down 10 rebounds.

D.J. Fowler was the only player in double figures scoring for the Buccaneers with 16 points.

Winthrop’s next game is a Big South contest at UNC Asheville at 7 p.m. on Thursday. The Eagles’ next home game is a nonconference matchup against N.C. Central at 7 p.m. on Jan. 7.

WINTHROP 69, CHARLESTON SOUTHERN 49

CHARLESTON SOUTHERN (4-7, 0-2): Anicia Dotson 1-6 4-6 6, Rochelle Brophy 0-3 0-0 0, Erin Bratcher 3-17 0-0 8, D.J. Fowler 5-13 5-5 16, Alyssa Mann 1-7 0-0 3, Nayla Long 0-1 0-0 0, Natasha Lebedeva 3-7 0-0 6, Marley Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Tatum Jarvis 1-8 2-2 4, Kirklin Kirkpatrick 0-2 0-0 0, Brianna Lakes 1-1 0-0 2, Monique Maximilien 0-0 0-0 0, Christal Barnett 2-4 0-0 2. Totals 17-69 11-13 49.

WINTHROP (8-3, 3-0): Schaquilla Nunn 7-9 3-43 17, Erica Williams 6-11 2-5 14, Taylor Calvert 0-2 0-2 0, Dequesha McClanahan 4-10 2-2 10, Samiya Wright 7-11 3-4 19, Cat Wells 0-1 0-1 0, Tiffany Charles 0-1 1-2 1, Brianna Boyd 1-1 0 0-0 2, Ronata Rogers 0-0 0-0 0, CiiCii Buford 0-0 0-0 0, Pamela Decheva 1-4 0-0 3, Zoe Vernon 1-2 0-0 3. Totals 27-52 11-20 69.

CHS252449
WIN442569

Three-point goals: Charleston Southern 4-29 (Bratcher 2-10), Winthrop 4-13 (Wright 2-6). Fouled out: None. Rebounds: Charleston Southern 42 (Dotson 7), Winthrop 42 (Calvert 10). Assists: Charleston Southern 4 (Mann 2), Winthrop 21 (McClanahan 14). Total fouls: Charleston Southern 15, Winthrop 10. Technical fouls: None. A: 377.

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