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Winthrop Eagles lose fifth straight at HIgh Point

Things had changed considerably for Winthrop lately, but some things haven't.

The Eagles are going to struggle when Andre Jones isn't scoring, and they still can't win at High Point.

Winthrop lost its fifth straight game at the Millis Center, dropping a 64-54 decision Thursday night. The Eagles haven't won here since 2007.

That means this senior class has come up empty here, and Thursday, it was largely because that class provided little down the stretch.

Andre Jones -- who entered the contest averaging 19.1 points per game -- scored just eight points on 2-of-13 shooting. That broke a streak of 18 straight games in double figures for Jones, and without him, the Eagles had few answers.

"It is hard," Winthrop coach Randy Peele said about his chances when his stud plays poorly. "I don't know, it's hard to put a reason on why. I don't know if we were worn out, or what.

"I'm certainly not blaming it all on him, but he didn't look like he had his normal level of energy."

The most burst he showed all night was slipping away to the bus while Peele was talking, as there was never really a moment when it appeared he was going to get into his normal groove. He did hit a 3-pointer late to cut the High Point lead to three points, but that was the only one of the six attempts he made.

"It is frustrating, because we know he's better than that, and we're better than that as a team," freshman point guard Andre Smith said. "It goes back to some of the problems we had earlier in the year, where we were having a hard time closing out, scoring enough points late in games to finish.

"That's a frustrating thing when you're been playing as well as we had been playing."

And it's not as if their host didn't give them chances.

The Panthers' own leading scorer, Nick Barbour, fell flat as well. He entered the game just behind Jones, averaging 18.8 points per game but had just seven. In his stead Shay Shine led the way with a game-high 16, hitting 3-of-4 from beyond the 3-point line.

High Point (7-9, 3-3) had given up a seven-point lead in the final minute to lose at Gardner-Webb Saturday, but weren't about to this time.

The Panthers went on a 16-6 run early in the half, and it seemed to require too much to get back in.

Winthrop (6-11, 3-3) tied the game at 54 with five minutes, 11 seconds left, but then watched the Panthers close with a 13-0 run, when it looked particularly impotent.

A team which only turned the ball over nine times all night collapsed late, with odd-ball decisions and shots that weren't even close. When Jones is air-balling both 3-pointers and free throws, it's a bad sign, but he was hardly alone.

Winthrop (6-11, 3-3) shot just 37.0 percent for the game, and 33.3 percent in the second half.

Meanwhile, one of Peele's points of emphasis came back to bite them, as the Panthers hit 5-of-8 3-pointers in the second half to pull away.

Point guard Reggie Middleton finished with a team-high 15 points, and senior center George Valentine had 13 points and seven rebounds, but Peele sloughed off the notion of looking for positives. Matt Morgan fell back to Earth, with just two points and two rebounds.

It was that kind of night, as if the Eagles were confused by Jones' cold hand

"Matt didn't have a great game, and George had 13 and seven, but ..." Peele said, trailing off in thought. "The bottom line is we need more people to play at a higher level than we had tonight."

HIGH POINT 64, WINTHROP 54

WINTHROP

Min

FG-A

FT-A

OR-TR

A

PF

PT

Middleton

36

5-13

3-3

2-2

3

2

15

Valentine

35

6-8

1-2

2-7

0

4

13

Jones

36

2-13

3-4

2-3

4

2

8

Henry

9

1-4

0-0

0-1

0

0

3

Bourne

26

0-1

0-0

0-2

0

2

0

Smith

11

3-5

0-0

0-0

1

1

8

Jerome

23

2-3

1-2

1-6

1

1

5

Morgan

19

1-4

0-2

0-2

0

3

2

Gamble

5

0-3

0-0

0-0

0

2

0

Totals

200

20-54

8-13

9-25

9

17

54

Percentages: FG .370, FT .615. 3-Point Goals: 6-20, .300 (Middleton 2-4, Smith 2-4, Henry 1-3, Jones 1-6, Jerome 0-1, Gamble 0-2). Team Rebounds: 2. Blocked Shots: 1 (Jerome). Turnovers: 9 (Jones 3, Valentine 2, Middleton 2, Morgan, Bourne). Steals: 9 (Valentine 3, Middleton 2, Jones 2, Jerome, Bourne). Technical Fouls: None.

HIGH POINT

Min

FG-A

FT-A

OR-TR

A

PF

PT

Shine

31

5-7

3-6

0-5

2

3

16

Law

33

5-8

4-4

5-8

1

1

14

Mikulic

24

3-6

2-2

2-6

1

1

11

Barbour

29

3-7

0-0

0-2

2

1

7

Martin

24

0-2

5-6

1-3

3

1

5

Elliott

21

2-4

2-5

1-5

0

1

6

Cheek

11

1-2

0-0

0-3

1

0

3

Simms

16

1-3

0-0

0-0

5

2

2

Wallace

9

0-2

0-0

0-0

0

1

0

Harris

2

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

1

0

Totals

200

20-41

16-23

9-36

15

12

64

Percentages: FG .488, FT .696. 3-Point Goals: 8-16, .500 (Shine 3-4, Mikulic 3-5, Barbour 1-2, Cheek 1-2, Wallace 0-1, Martin 0-2). Team Rebounds: 4. Blocked Shots: 6 (Barbour 2, Shine 2, Law 2). Turnovers: 15 (Shine 4, Barbour 4, Mikulic 2, Law 2, Martin 2, Cheek). Steals: 5 (Law 2, Mikulic, Shine, Barbour). Technical Fouls: None.

Winthrop

28

26

-

54

High Point

27

37

-

64

Att.-1,785. Officials-Matthew Potter, Sean Corbin, Anthony Jordan.

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