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Eagles' comeback bid comes up just short

Winthrop finished its game at Western Michigan in a flourish, but the Eagles came up short in more ways than one in a 60-55 non-conference loss Tuesday night.

The Eagles fell to 4-8 while Western Michigan improved to 4-7, as the Broncos won their fourth straight game thanks to a decided size advantage against Winthrop. Western Michigan dominated the boards 41-29 as 6-foot-9, 290-pound center Matt Stainbrook pulled down 14 rebounds.

"Their size bothered us," said Winthrop coach Randy Peele. "They are just big. We battled but it was just hard to do anything inside against their big guys."

Winthrop trailed by two points at halftime, 25-23, but came out in the second half and scored the first two baskets on a bucket inside by George Valentine and a 3-pointer by Andre Smith to put Winthrop up 28-25.

After the Eagles took a 28-25 lead, they went nine straight possessions and more than eight minutes without a field goal and opened the door for the Broncos to overtake them. It was during this drought that Western Michigan reclaimed the lead, 35-29, with nearly 12 minutes left in the game. The Broncos eventually took their largest lead of the game, 48-36, with 5:50 left in the game as Mike Douglas converted 3 of 4 free throws.

Over the next 4:37, Winthrop outscored the Broncos 13-4 to get within three points after a tip-in by Joab Jerome. On Winthrop's next possession, Andre Jones was fouled going to the basket by Stainbrook with 21 seconds left in the game and then Stainbrook was slapped with a technical foul that sent Jones to the foul line where he made 3 of 4 free throws to bring the Eagles to within two at 54-52.

Winthrop fouled Douglas on the inbounds pass, and he went to the line, converting both foul shots to put the Broncos up by four with 20 seconds left. Jones' jumper from the right corner rimmed out with 10 seconds left.

Western Michigan's Austin Richie grabbed the rebound, was fouled with eight seconds left, and made two free throws to put the Broncos up 58-52. Reggie Middleton, with four seconds left, drilled a 3-pointer to bring Winthrop to within three, but the Eagles were forced to foul again on the inbounds pass, sending Richie to the line again where he sealed the game by making both foul shots with three seconds left.

Jones and Middleton, the leading scorers on the year for Winthrop, had tough shooting nights as they combined for 4 of 21 field-goal shooting. Jones did reach double figures for the 12th time this season as he finished with a team-high 13 points. Valentine scored eight and grabbed five rebounds to become the 11th player in Winthrop history to reach 500 rebounds for his career.

For the game, Winthrop shot 18 of 53 (34 percent) from the floor, including 7 of 22 from behind the arc.

Winthrop returns to the hardwood at Georgia on Dec. 27.

W. Michigan 60, Winthrop 55

WINTHROP

Min

FG-A

FT-A

OR-TR

A

PF

PT

Bourne

16

2-4

1-2

2-4

0

3

5

Valentine

32

4-7

0-0

2-5

0

3

8

Smith

16

2-4

0-0

0-1

0

3

6

Middleton

36

2-9

0-0

0-2

4

4

6

Jones

37

2-12

8-9

0-5

0

3

13

Gamble

16

2-3

0-0

1-1

0

4

5

Morgan

25

2-8

3-5

1-3

0

0

7

King

4

0-2

0-0

0-0

0

1

0

Diop

6

0-1

0-0

1-1

0

0

0

Jerome

12

2-3

0-0

1-2

1

1

5

Totals

200

18-53

12-16

9-29

5

22

55

Percentages: FG .340, FT .750. 3-Point Goals: 7-22, .318 (Smith 2-4, Middleton 2-5, Jerome 1-2, Gamble 1-2, Jones 1-6, King 0-1, Morgan 0-2). Team Rebounds: 5. Blocked Shots: 3 (Gamble 2, Jerome). Turnovers: 9 (Middleton 3, Gamble 2, Jones 2, Bourne, Diop). Steals: 4 (Middleton 3, Valentine). Technical Fouls: None.

W. MICHIGAN

Min

FG-A

FT-A

OR-TR

A

PF

PT

Hutcheson

33

3-9

2-2

0-2

1

4

10

Stainbrook

36

4-9

1-1

7-14

2

3

9

Ward

26

2-9

1-2

1-4

2

3

6

Douglas

37

4-10

7-8

1-6

3

2

15

Pokley

9

0-2

0-0

1-3

0

0

0

Hoerdemann

7

2-3

0-0

0-1

0

1

6

Whittington

22

3-4

1-1

2-5

1

2

7

Richie

19

0-3

7-8

1-3

0

0

7

Conteh

10

0-0

0-0

0-2

0

1

0

Loney

1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

2

0

Totals

200

18-49

19-22

14-41

9

18

60

Percentages: FG .367, FT .864. 3-Point Goals: 5-22, .227 (Hoerdemann 2-3, Hutcheson 2-8, Ward 1-5, Stainbrook 0-1, Pokley 0-2, Richie 0-3). Team Rebounds: 1. Blocked Shots: 4 (Whittington 3, Stainbrook). Turnovers: 13 (Douglas 4, Hutcheson 3, Ward 2, Loney, Stainbrook, Hoerdemann, Whittington). Steals: 2 (Richie, Whittington). Technical Fouls: Stainbrook.

Winthrop

23

32

-

55

W. Michigan

25

35

-

60

Att.-2,591. Officials-Tim Clougherty, John Hughes, Todd Von Sossan.

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