CHARLESTON -- Tiffany Rodd led all scorers with 23 points to help Winthrop to a 77-53 victory against Charleston Southern on Tuesday.
The 24-point win was a school record on the road against Big South opponents. It is the second time in three seasons that Winthrop has swept the regular-season series against the Buccaneers. Winthrop improved to 16-9, 4-3 in the league and assured itself of the school's first season with a winning record since becoming an NCAA Division I member in 1986.
After building a 40-21 halftime lead, Winthrop never let up. The Eagles shot 69 percent from the field in the first half, including 3-for-6 from the 3-point line, and followed that up by shooting 48 percent from the floor in the second half.
"Defensively, we were really focused," said Winthrop coach Bud Childers, whose team is just three wins away from tying the school record for single-season wins. "We were determined to make up for our lack of defense against Radford. When we play good defense our offense seems to click. We shot the ball really well. I'm very proud of the team for a much-crucial win on the road. Now we get ready for a big game Saturday at home against High Point that will mean a lot of us as well."
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Winthrop's defense, ranked third in the country in field goal percentage, stood strong by holding the Bucs to just 33 percent from the field and 3-for-15 from the arc.
Winthrop built its 40-21 halftime lead by dominating the boards and shooting a blistering percentage. The Eagles had a 23-8 advantage on the boards with five offensive rebounds and eight second-chance points.
The Eagles were pounding the ball inside as Jennifer Walker and Ashley Fann combined for 19 of the team's 22 points in the paint in the first half. Rodd was a perfect 5-for-5 from the field and Fann was 4-for-4.
In the first meeting, Rodd and Fann combined for 52 of the Eagles' 75 points. Rodd and Fann were at it again, but this time Walker decided to get involved with 14 points and seven boards. Fann finished the game with 15 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Rodd was 9-for-12 from the field and has scored 51 points in two games against the Bucs this season.
Winthrop returns at 1 p.m. on Saturday to take on High Point at the Winthrop Coliseum. The game will be televised on SportSouth (cable channel 32 in Rock Hill).