RADFORD, Va. -- So, this is what a Winthrop game looks like when it's not close.
It's starters Chris Gaynor, Taj McCullough, Michael Jenkins, Mantoris Robinson and Charles Corbin spending the last six minutes of the game on the bench, smiling, towels around their necks, their work done.
The Eagles (11-7, 2-1 Big South Conference) put together their best 40 minutes in some time and, for once, didn't have to go to the wire to win a game, romping past Radford (5-13, 0-3) 77-59 Saturday in the Dedmon Center.
Jenkins got open looks and made them for 20 points, McCullough snapped out of a two-week funk with 16, Robinson had his second straight solid game with 14, Gaynor added 11 and six assists and Corbin had nine points and six rebounds.
The Eagles didn't get a lot of points from the bench, but they got some valuable minutes.
Couldn't have worked out better for Winthrop coach Randy Peele, who was looking for a breakout game on the road.
"We had 77 points," Peele said. "I didn't know how to act. But in the last seven minutes, I was still raising hell. That was a big one."
The Eagles, who had played 13 games decided by 10 or fewer points, shot it well, defended well, rebounded, forced turnovers, got out in transition and played the kind of aggressive, confident game Peele has been looking for.
"They're a good team," first-year Radford coach Brad Greenberg said. "They compete, they're physical, they're committed to the defensive end and they play the game hard.
"They're fiercely determined to get every 50-50 ball. They know they're good, and they play that way."
No player exemplified the confident aggression more than Robinson, who played very well for the second straight game. He was attacking off the dribble and even drilled a couple of 3-pointers in the first half. He reached double figures in scoring for the first time since the Georgia Tech game Nov. 18.
But he didn't take any possessions off on the defensive end either, shutting down any Radford shooter that got hot. He guarded Martell McDuffy, Kenny Thomas and point guard Amir Johnson, and all three knew he was there. Thomas had 13 in the first half, zero in the second.
"He's playing with a lot of confidence," Peele said.
The Eagles also shut down Joey Lynch-Flohr on the inside, holding him to six points, half his average, and six rebounds. McCullough and Corbin did most of the work.
"They did a good job doubling me," Lynch-Flohr said, "and our offense just went stagnant."
The Highlanders shot 37 percent.
Robinson just smiled when asked about the 3-pointers.
"Coach told me my unselfishness was hurting the team," Robinson said, "so I've tried to be more aggressive. And I've worked on the 3-point shot a lot.
"But when I'm aggressive, it helps get other guys open."
And the Eagles, who shot 49 percent for the game, were open a lot, thanks to those drives, 15 offensive rebounds and a willingness to push the ball, especially after turnovers. The Eagles forced the Highlanders into 19 turnovers that turned into 27 points.
Aside from one shaky stretch in the first half when the Eagles turned the ball over five times in seven possessions against Radford's halfcourt trap after leading 18-7, Winthrop had this one under control. That Radford 12-2 run, mostly against the Winthrop subs when Peele went to his bench, cut the lead to 20-19, but the Eagles, who shot 60 percent in the first half and made 7-of-10 3-pointers, quickly got it back to double digits and led 43-32 at the half.
Aside from the 44 points against Division II Limestone, the 43 points were the most in a half since the Eagles got 45 against Missouri State Nov. 25.
While that trap looked good in the first half, the first time the Highlanders tried it the second, Gaynor flipped an alley-oop pass to McCullough for a dunk, and the trap was not a factor again.
Winthrop led by as many as 24 before Peele cleared the bench. The Eagles scored just six points in the last six minutes with a lineup of freshmen on the floor.
But Peele didn't mind that too much with a chance to sit back and enjoy the end of a game for a change.
The win sets up a key home game against VMI Wednesday at Winthrop Coliseum. The Keydets dropped a 90-87 overtime game to UNC Asheville Saturday. The Eagles need a win in that one to stay a game back of UNC Asheville, which moved to 3-0 Saturday.
"We'll start work on that one tomorrow," Peele said. "We have to take them one at a time, baby."