The Winthrop Eagles dug themselves into a deep hole in the first half Saturday that they couldn't climb out of, even though they gave it a good try down the stretch.
In the end, however, it was too little, too late as Radford prevailed 65-57 to take over sole possession of second place in the Big South Conference standings.
Winthrop dropped to 15-9, 3-3 in the BSC, while Radford, the No. 1 pick in the preseason poll, improved to 17-8, 4-2.
Coach Jeri Porter's Highlanders have now won nine of the last 11 meetings and lead the series 47-6.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Herald
Radford had to dig deep the last two times the Highlanders came to Rock Hill, winning both games by a total of five points. This time it appeared they could name the score.
Once again, the Eagles seemed in a daze when the game started, falling behind 21-4 with 9:57 left in the first half. The Eagles couldn't buy a basket, hitting just 7-of-26 from the field.
That, plus 13 turnovers and a 36-22 rebounding deficit, enabled the Highlanders to build a 36-22 advantage at intermission.
"Obviously, I didn't have them ready to play," coach Bud Childers said. "We didn't want to match the intensity level of our opponent.
"The challenge is that we have to figure out to play with great intensity right away. Whatever we've been doing isn't working. We just didn't have a very aggressive nature about us."
Winthrop picked up its game in the second half and began slicing into the Highlanders' lead, cutting it to six -- 57-51 -- with five minutes left and again with 1:11 left on Ashley Fann's layup.
But that was as close as the Eagles, who shot 52 percent in the second half compared to 26 in the first, would get.
Radford won despite just six points from leading scorer Kelli Darden, who picked up two early fouls and played just 20 minutes.
Reserve Kymesha Alston picked up the slack with 12 points and five rebounds in 19 minutes.
Taleia Moton led the way with 13 points, while Johnette Walker and Denay Wood had 11 and 10, respectively. Walker also had 12 rebounds as the Highlanders dominated the boards, 43-32.
Ashley Fann led the Eagles, who have now lost three of four, with 19 points. Franchesca Davenport added 12, while Tiffany Rodd added 10.
Winthrop plays next at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Charleston Southern.