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Lady Eagles keep rolling

It just keeps getting better for the Winthrop women's basketball team.

After Saturday afternoon's 75-53 rout of Charleston Southern in their Big South Conference opener at Winthrop Coliseum, the Eagles (7-6, 1-0) have won five straight. And freshman guard Dequesha McLanahan, who led four Winthrop players in double figures with 19 points, says they don't want to stop there.

"We're all gaining confidence after we had a rough start," McLanahan said. "We want people to see that we can be a good team in this conference."

Charleston Southern (6-9, 0-2) was probably left with that impression after the Eagles broke open a close game in the second half with an aggressive inside game.

Three other Winthrop players scored in double figures --- junior center TaQuoia Hammick with 12 points, all but two in the second half; guard Mary Hathaway with 11; and forward Kaitlyn Rubino with 10.

"It's good to see teamwork and the roles being defined," Winthrop coach Bud Childers said. "It seems like we get a little better each night."

The Eagles sprinted to an early 9-3 lead before the Bucs, led by Katie Tull's 13 points, climbed back into the game. The lead changed hands a dozen times before Winthrop took the lead for good at 26-25 on a three-pointer by Hathaway with with 7:35 left in the first half.

After stretching that lead to as many as seven, Winthrop took a 34-32 advantage to the halftime break. McLanahan scored 12 of her 19 points in the first half.

"I think we're paying more attention to detail and playing with more focus," said McLanahan. "I'm trying to take better care of the ball and watch turnovers."

Charleston Southern tied the game at 34-34 on a pair of free throws 44 seconds into the second half by Katie Wasmer, who scored 12 points. But the Eagles pulled away with a solid defensive effort that limited the Bucs to a single basket over a nine-minute stretch, a 13-2 run that gave Winthrop a 69-51 lead with 5 minutes to play.

"We've been paying more attention to detail," McLanahan said. "Trying to take care of the ball and avoid turnovers. Just playing better as a team."

And on the offensive end, the Eagles were just as dominant, pounding the ball inside. Hammick hit all six of her field goal attempts.

"We didn't want to get into a three-point shooting contest with them, because that's what they do well," Childers said. "We got easier baskets in the second half, and it's always good when you have more assists (20) than turnovers (17). Our point guards did a good job."

NOTES: The Eagles limited Charleston Southern, which came into the game averaging 8.3 made three-pointers per game, to a 5-for-20 night from behind the arc. Winthrop held the Bucs to a 33,3 percent field goal shooting mark, which is pretty close to the 32 percent that opponents have been averaging during the current winning streak...Winthrop hosts the Gardner-Webb Bulldogs in another Big South game at 7 p.m. on Monday at Winthrop Coliseum.




Lakeitha Alston 4-8 3-5 11, Anicia Dotson 0-1 0-0 0, Helen Terry 0-2 0-0 0, Kelsey Wasmer 3-11 4-6 12, Katie Tull 3-10 6-6 13, Kiki Rutledge 1-2 0-0 2, Erin Bratcher 2-8 2-4 7, Shay Jones 0-2 0-0 0, Kirklin Kirkpatrick 0-0 0-0 0, Margaret Spaulding 0-0 0-0 0, Lydia Johnson 3-4 1-2 7, Danielle Gibson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-48 16-23 53.

WINTHROP (7-6, 1-0)

Ashley Cox 3-7 3-4 9, Kaitlyn Rubino 5-8 0-2 10, Lacey Lyons 3-9 0-0 8, Dequesha McLanahan 7-10 5-6 19, Mary Hathaway 3-8 3-4 11, Tiffany Charles 3-4 0-0 6, Allison Lawrence 0-0 0-0 0, Katie Fitzgerald 0-1 0-0 0, Dee Gray 0-0 0-0 0, Chantel Johnson 0-1 0-0 0, TaQuoia Hammick 6-6 0-0 12. Totals 30-54 11-16.











3-pointers -- Charleston Southern 5-20 (Wasmer 2-6) Winthrop 4-14 (Lyons 2-6, Hathaway 2-5). Fouled Out -- Charleston Southern -None, Winthrop-Charles. Rebounds -- Charleston Southern 31 (Wasmer 8) Winthrop 31 (Hammick 9). Assists -- Charleston Southern 6 (Terry 2, Wasmer 2) Winthrop (Lyons 6). Total fouls -- Charleston Southern 15, Winthrop 21. Technical fouls -- None.