Eagles fight way to 6th win of year

NORFOLK, Va. -- It wasn't easy, but the Winthrop women's basketball team improved to 6-2 as it scratched and clawed its way to a 68-63 victory at Norfolk State on Monday evening at Joseph Echols Hall.

Winthrop built an 11-point second-half lead with 5:18 to go in the game, but had to earn it at the foul line as the teams combined for 30 fouls in the second half. Winthrop made 13-of-21 foul shots in the second half, while Norfolk State (1-2) was 17-for-21 at the line.

"We had many chances to let that game go south, but we managed to pull it out," coach Bud Childers said. "We managed to win a tough game, considering Norfolk State seemed really fired up to play. We started the game a little flat, but we did finally get it together and at times we were able to play some good basketball at times and get the win."

Ashley Fann, who finished with a team-high 20 points, helped keep the Eagles in the game with her post play as the other post players for Winthrop were in foul trouble all night. She had eight of her 20 points in the second half and also tied her career-best with six assists.

Tiffany Rodd kept the Eagles in the game to start the second half as she connected on three 3-point baskets to score nine of the team's first 13 points. Rodd finished with 15 points for the third straight game and she also became the school's all-time leader in 3-point baskets made with 145. She passes Jennifer Castle's old record of 142.

The teams were tied at the break as Jessica Fansler's jumper at the baseline made it 30-30 with three seconds to go. Norfolk State had hit a 3-pointer by Ashley Compton with 18 seconds to go to take the 30-28 lead.

The Eagles shot 57 percent from the floor in the half, but they committed 19 turnovers that helped keep the game tied heading into the locker room. Fann scored 12 first-half points and ended up scoring 10 of the team's final 17 points of the half.

With the victory, the Eagles are now 3-1 on the road and the six victories matches the total from last season.

Shelly Hankins added 10 points off the bench for the Eagles, as she was 7-for-8 from the foul line. She also had four rebounds and two steals.

The Spartans were led by Tiffany Gadsden's 22 points and 11 rebounds. Danelle Tate added 12 points while Ebony Gibbs had 11.

Winthrop concludes its six-game road trip on Sunday as it travels to Davidson, N.C., to take on the Wildcats at 2:30 p.m.