Xavier Cooks and Keon Johnson combined for 41 points to lead Winthrop to an 83-63 victory over Longwood Wednesday in Big South Conference men’s basketball action.
With the win the Eagles improved to 20-6 on the year and 12-3 in the Big South, while Longwood falls to 6-20 overall and 3-12 in the league. Winthrop returns home for a matchup with Liberty on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 2 p.m.
Cooks finished with 21 points and a career-high 20 rebounds while Johnson had 20 points as they both combined to go 15-for-27 from the floor. Cooks becomes the first Winthrop player with 20 or more points and rebounds in the same game since Tyrone Walker had 24 points and 20 rebounds on Dec. 29, 2003, against Western Michigan.
The Eagles improve to 11-3 on the year and tied for the most road wins in the country with Vermont, which also won Wednesday at UMass Lowell. Winthrop now has 20 wins on the year, which is the 3rd time in five seasons the Eagles have hit that mark under head coach Pat Kelsey and the 11th time since the program’s move to the NCAA D1 level.
The Eagles pushed their 11-point halftime advantage to 19 points with 11:26 to play after they held a 12-14 point lead for the majority of the first seven minutes of the second half before turning a 46-34 lead into a 19-point lead behind threes from Anders Broman and Johnson.
The lead extended to 20 points at 61-41 after another Johnson three and reached as much as 26 points at 75-49 with 4:17 to play after a three from Cooks. The Eagles shot 49 percent from the floor and were 11-for-23 behind the arc (48 percent). Senior Tevin Prescott joined Johnson and Cooks in double-figures with 10 points as he also had three rebounds and two steals.
Longwood’s Darrion Allen scored 18 points while Isaiah Walton added 16 points and JaShaun Smith had 10 points. The Lancers finished the game shooting 36 percent.
Winthrop jumped out to an early 13-4 lead powered by a Bjorn Broman three and six points from Johnson. The Eagles grabbed their first double-figure lead at 20-10 after an Adam Pickett free throw with 13:34.
Longwood did close the gap to 23-20 with 8:06 left, but the Eagles outscored the Lancers 11-2 over the next five minutes to lead 34-24 after Cooks hit two free throws. Cooks boarded a Johnson miss and made a basket as time expired to end the first half and give Winthrop a 39-28 lead at the break.