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Eagles outlast Buccaneers

Dequesha McClanahan scored seven of her career-high 33 points in overtime to lead Winthrop to an 81-75 victory over Charleston Southern on Friday .

Winthrop improves to 17-12 overall and 11-6 in the Big South as it clinched a third place finish in the Big South Conference standings. Charleston Southern is now 16-12 overall and 9-8 in the league. It was the second overtime in three games for the Eagles.

McClanahan scored six straight points in overtime for a 76-73 lead after Erin Bratcher opened the extra period with a three Winthrop held Charleston Southern in back-to-back possession down the stretch, as Diana Choibekova and Samiya Wright each drained free throws for a seven-point advantage with 24 seconds left.

In addition to her fourth 30-point game of the season, McClanahan dished out five assists and broke the Big South Conference single-season mark. McClanahan now has 211 assists on the season.

With 5:18 remaining in the game, Winthrop led by five points after a three pointer from Wright. Charleston Southern answered back with a Lakeitha Alston jumper in the lane to pull within three. Rachelle Coward tied the game at 67-all. Coward was fouled, but missed the free throw and a chance at the four-point play.

Neither team scored on their next possessions, which led to Wright knocking down her sixth three of the game with just over two minutes to play in the game for a 70-67 lead. But with 1:13 to go, Coward came up big again as she drained a three to tie the game at 70-70.

Both teams had a chance to take the lead on their final possession of regulation, but turned the ball over.

Wright chipped in with a career-high 26 points, as she finished the game 8 for 17 from the field and 6 for 13 behind the arc.

The teams traded buckets early on and Charleston Southern led 9-8 at the 16:55 mark after an Anicia Dotson three-pointer.

The Bucs held a small lead the next few minutes and eventually outscored the Eagles 15-6 over a seven minute span to gain a double-figure lead at 24-14 with 9:43 to play in the half.

Winthrop responded with a 10-0 run behind four points from Kaitlyn Rubino to tie the game. The run was capped off by a Choibekova three-pointer.

Coward knocked down a jumper in the lane to get the lead back for the Bucs, only to see Winthrop snag the lead again after a McClanahan three off an offensive rebound by Rubino.

Charleston Southern grabbed the lead one more time before the end of the half on a Coward free throw, but Winthrop outscored the Bucs 11-5 the rest of the way for a 39-34 lead at the break.

Winthrop was 26 for 71 from the field (37 percent) and Charleston Southern was 25 for 70 (36 percent).

Choibekova finished with her third career double-double, as she finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds to go along with a career-high three blocks.

Taylor Calvert finished with 11 rebounds.

Alston led the Bucs with 20 points, while Coward finished with 19 points. Also in double-figures was Bratcher with 15 points on 5-for-11 shooting and Dotson recorded a double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Winthrop will wrap up the regular season on Monday at home against Coastal Carolina at 7 p.m.

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