Winthrop's women won their sixth straight game on Saturday, beating Charleston Southern 75-66, but coach Bud Childers isn't sure his team was even aware they'd won six straight.
It's the two straight that has them excited.
The Eagles, getting a career-high 27 points from Tiffany Rodd, 25 points and nine rebounds from Ashley Fann and a career-high-tying 10 assists from point guard Yvonne van Daalen, are 2-0 in the Big South Conference and tied for first place with Liberty. It's only the second time in the program's history the Eagles have started league play 2-0.
"I didn't hear anybody say anything about six in a row in the locker room," Childers said, "but I did hear 'that's 2-0 in the conference, and let's get ready for the next one.'
"This group is very focused on the conference. It's a 12-game sprint."
It appears to be a sprint the Eagles are prepared for after moving to 14-6 overall and tying the program record for wins as an NCAA Division I team.
On Saturday, they got what they needed from Rodd and Fann against a team that had won three of four and was coming off an upset win over preseason league favorite Radford.
Childers called them "awesome."
Rodd, hitting 6-of-11 3-pointers, took charge from the outside, and Fann, who Childers said played her most complete game at home this season, dominated in the paint. They had 52 of the 75 points. It was the first time two Eagles had at least 20 in a game since Tawander Whittington (29) and Laura Herman (24) did it against Coastal Carolina on Feb. 15, 2003.
Rodd, who tied her previous career high with 21 in the first half, gave the Eagles a working margin at the break. She scored 10 points in a 13-0 run that turned a 29-27 lead into a 42-29 margin at the break.
Rodd said she was shocked to get so many open looks in the first half.
"Usually, teams guard me pretty close," she said, "but my teammates set some good screens to get me open. And when you get those open shots, you've got to knock them down."
And it helped the Eagles had a huge size advantage inside. The Eagles opened the game trying to get the ball on the low block. When that succeeded, the perimeter shots opened, as well.
"We got 34 points in the paint," Childers said, "and that's what we wanted to do."
Even though the Eagles played most of the second half with a double-digit lead, Childers couldn't really relax.
Down 17, Charleston Southern went on an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to 49-40. Down 18, a 7-0 run cut it to 60-49. When Rodd nailed her last 3-pointer with 5:40 to play, the Eagles went up 69-52, but a 12-2 run, keyed by sharp-shooting Katie Dull and tenacious Natalie Caldwell, sliced the lead to 71-64 with 2:28 left.
"They made some tough shots," Childers said. "For a while in the second half, the basket looked about the size of a bushel basket. But I think it's easier to make shots when you're down 15-18 points than it is when you're down six or eight.
"We've not played very well with big leads all year, but the lead never got to the point where it was really shaky."
It might have gotten to that after the Lady Bucs cut the lead to seven. Fann, with the shot clock ticking under five seconds, drove and missed a shot that didn't appear to hit the rim. But Ashley Haugtvedt snatched the rebound and scored.
"They probably thought the shot didn't hit the rim," Childers said, "but (Haugtvedt) played it all the way through."
The Eagles did what they've been doing in the win streak -- played good defense, showed patience and hit open shots. They held Charleston Southern to 35 percent shooting. The only thing Childers didn't like were the nine 3-pointers, which is four more than he'd like to give up in a game.
It was also the Eagles' eighth win at home in nine games going into Wednesday's home game with Coastal Carolina.
Childers was asked about the possibility of going 3-0 in the league and heading to Liberty next Saturday for a showdown for first place.
"My hero is Norman Dale from (the movie) 'Hoosiers,'" said Childers, an Indiana native. "So, I'm going to be like Norman Dale and just leave that one out there.
"We'll just try and get ready for the next one."