On a night when only one Winthrop player was making shots, he left the court disappointed in his own defense.
It was that kind of night for the Eagles, as they lost 62-60 at Gardner-Webb, to fall to 1-1 in the Big South Conference.
Andre Jones scored a game-high 25 points, making 10 of 14 shots including 4 of 6 for 3-pointers. And it wasn't as if he had a lot of help, as the rest of the Eagles were 15 of 44 from the floor (34.1 percent), making Jones the Warren Commission's favorite player -- a lone gunman.
But Jones was more discouraged about the two baskets he allowed in the final minutes to Gardner-Webb's Tashan Newsome than all the ones he hit all night that made those matter.
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"It's just frustrating being a senior, and not being able to get a key defensive stop," Jones said, shaking his head at the one demerit on his report card for the night. "They ran isolation plays on me, and bottom line, I didn't get it done, that's the most frustrating thing about tonight for me.
"I failed on defense tonight, and that's why we lost."
Winthrop coach Randy Peele wasn't prepared to go there. Without Jones keeping the Eagles (2-6, 1-1) afloat, the late buckets wouldn't have mattered. At one point early in the game, the Eagles missed 3 of 19 shots, and some persistent problems cropped up again.
They struggled defending in the post, after doing such a solid job on Presbyterian's Al'Lonzo Coleman Thursday. In fact, after Gardner-Webb scored quickly on a few drives to the paint, Peele yanked starting power forward Matt Morgan. Morgan finished with no points and two rebounds in 24 minutes, and Peele said the early hook (for freshman Larry Brown) was way of "sending a message."
The Runnin' Bulldogs were 12 of 20 from the free throw line, while the Eagles attempted just nine free throws. That disparity had Peele shrugging and trying to choose words carefully, but the reality was the hosts were more aggressive and it cost them.
As with most of Winthrop's conference games, this one wasn't worth paying too much attention to until late, as they came roaring back from a nine-point deficit to make it their usual nail-biter.
When Jones tied the game at 57 with a minute, 35 seconds left, the stage was set for the same kind of heroics as Thursday when his late triple lifted them to a road conference win.
But on the other end, Newsome drove for a lay-up, and Jones' 3-pointer to answer became moot when Newsome answered with a jumper of his own.
That had Jones sulking, but he didn't have much of a chance to help after that. The best shot was a drive by Reggie Middleton late, and Jones had a chance, but with Newsome inside his shirt, he didn't get a clean look. A desperate tip-attempt with 0.4 seconds left fell off the rim, leaving the Eagles slumping toward the bus.
The Eagles were again without starting small forward Joab Jerome. He missed Thursday's game at Presbyterian as well with plantar fasciitis, and received a cortisone injection Saturday morning. With a day off and exams in front of them (they won't play again until a non-Division I game next Sunday against Virginia-Wise) the hope is Jerome's healthy by the time their four-game non-conference road trip picks up on Dec. 15.