Winthrop women beat Coastal Carolina in widest-margin win of season

Special CorrespondentJanuary 25, 2014 

Winthrop Eagles guard/forward Erica Williams (33) takes it to the basket over Coastal Carolina Chanticleers guard Karsen Sims (2) under the basket.

DANNIE WALLS — Special to the Herald

Did the Winthrop women’s basketball team play with a chip on their shoulders in a 90-61 rout of Coastal Carolina on Saturday afternoon?

“I sure hope so, after the practice we had yesterday,” Eagles coach Kevin Cook said in answer to a reporters’ question after the Big South Conference game at Winthrop Coliseum. “I’m not sure whether they were madder at me, or at losing on Thursday.”

The game he was referring to was a 77-74 loss at Campbell, the second overtime setback for Winthrop (14-6, 8-3 Big South) in the three previous outings.

“It was a long bus ride back, and short prep time for this game,” Cook said. “But it was a great bounceback victory and I was proud of the team.”

Freshman forward Erica Williams scored 24 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and had 5 assists to lead the Eagles, who jumped on the Chanticleers (10-10, 6-5) early and never let up in cruising to their biggest victory margin of the season. It was their second-highest scoring game of the season.

“We just want to show that we’re not going to back down from anybody,” Williams said. “We worked on our defense a lot in that practice yesterday and we came out strong.”

Senior guard Dequesha McClanahan scored 23 points and reserve guard Pamela Decheva added 12 on four three-pointers. The Eagles played without starting center Schaquilla Nunn, who missed the game with an undisclosed illness.

But the resulting 44-42 rebounding edge for the Chanticleers was the only statistic where the Eagles were found lacking on this afternoon.

Winthrop trailed only once, in the opening three minutes. And a 7-of-10 first-half performance behind the three-point arc sparked runs of 10-0 and 15-0 to help the Eagles grab firm control of the game by halftime.

Winthrop finished with a season-high 10 three-pointers. “We’re pretty confident in our three-point shooting,” McClanahan said. “We just found our shooters open and they knocked them down.”

That included McClanahan herself, who hit 3-of-6 behind the arc.

The Eagles led 49-26 at halftime, and the second half was more of the same. Winthrop took its largest lead at 90-59 in the final minute of the game.

“We can score the ball,” Cook said. “There’s lots of talent here. That we could get this victory without our starting post player shows the depth that we have. And when you hit shots like we did, it gives you more energy on the other end.”

Angelica Henry scored 18 points and guard A.J. Jordan added 13 for Coastal Carolina, which had won its last two games.

NOTES: McClanahan moved to No. 2 on the all-time career scoring list in Big South women’s basketball. Her total of 2,043 points moved her past Coastal Carolina’s Nikki Reddick, who scored 2,026 between 1999 and 2004. McClanahan needs 112 points to become the all-time leading scorer….The Eagles’ don’t play at home again until a 1 p.m. game with UNC-Asheville on Feb. 8. Their next three games are on the road, starting at Charleston Southern on Thursday.

WINTHROP 90, COASTAL CAROLINA 61

COASTAL CAROLINA (10-10, 6-5): Alexx Puckett 3-14, 4-6 10, Katelyn Connor 1-3 0-0 2, AJ Jordan 6-13 0-0 13, Karsen Sims 2-10 2-2 6, Angelica Henry 3-10 9-11 18, Megan Pittman 0-0 0-0 0, Olivia Carlton 0-2 0-0 0, Savannah Pippin 3-6 0-0 6, Kayla Cook 2-7 0-0 6. Totals 20-65 15-19 61.

WINTHROP (14-6, 8-3): Taylor Calvert 0-3 4-6 4, Erica Williams 9-13 6-8 24, Tiffany Charles 4-7 0-0 8, Dequesha McClanahan 8-20 4-6 23, Samiya Wright 4-9 2-2 10, Cat Wells 0-0 0-0 0, Carson Trull 0-0 0-0 0, Brianna Boyd 1-3 2-2 4, Ronata Rogers 0-0 0-0 0, Pamela Decheva 4-11 0-0 12, Zoe Vernon 1-1 2-2 5. Totals 31-67 18-24 91.

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Three-point goals: Coastal Carolina 6-25 (Henry 3-6); Winthrop 10-17 (Decheva 4-8). Fouled out – None, Rebounds: Coastal Carolina 44 (Carlton 11), Winthrop 42 (Williams 10). Assists — Coastal Carolina 9 (Cook, Jordan 3), Winthrop 18 (McClanahan, Williams 5). Total fouls — Coastal Carolina 17, Winthrop 17. Technical fouls —None. A-628.

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