Sports

Eagles hope for 60 tonight against Bucs

When it comes to wins and losses this season, the number 60 has been key for Winthrop's women's basketball team.

Coach Bud Childers' Eagles are 13-1 when they score 60 or more points -- the only loss a 68-63 setback at Davidson. When the Eagles fail to reach 60, they're 2-8.

"There is a magic number offensively that every team has," Childers said Monday, "that kind of shows that they're in rhythm and playing their game.

"Obviously when we get to 60 or more points, we're playing our game. If we're under that, we're struggling in some areas."

Childers said those struggles could be turnovers, shooting percentage, missed free throws or not boxing out.

"But when you get to that magic number, boom, there you are. Every thing's in line and you're doing the things you're suppose to be doing."

So Winthrop will be looking to score at least 60 points tonight at 7 when they take on Charleston Southern to begin the second half of the Big South Conference season. The Eagles rolled against the Lady Bucs last month in Rock Hill, winning 75-66 in a game that saw Tiffany Rodd score a career-high 27 points and Ashley Fann tie her career best with 25.

This game is in North Charleston, where coach Julie Goodenough's Lady Bucs are 2-1 in league play, including an 86-78 victory over preseason No. 1 pick Radford, which downed Winthrop 65-57 on Saturday in a battle for sole possession of second place in the league standings.

"They're a tough matchup in their building," Childers said. "We're walking into an ambush, and we've got to have all of our bullets ready."

One player Childers would like to see come out firing is Rodd, who has struggled since the record-setting performance against the Lady Bucs. Rodd managed just three field goals -- two of them 3-pointers -- in the next three games.

Winthrop's all-time leading 3-point shooter did seem back on her game Saturday in the loss to Radford, scoring 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting, going 2-of-4 from beyond the arc.

"We'd love to see Tiff get back going," Childers said. "Ever since she had that battle with the flu during the Coastal and Liberty week, she's been a little bit off, but she looked like she was moving and feeling better against Radford."

Winthrop enters tonight's game 3-3 in the Big South and tied for third place with High Point. The Lady Panthers host Radford tonight, then come to Rock Hill on Saturday afternoon.

WINTHROP WOMEN'S GAMEDAY

WINTHROP (15-9, 3-3 BIG SOUTH) AT CHARLESTON SOUTHERN (7-16, 2-4)

• When: 7 p.m.

• Where: CSU Field House

• TV: None

• On the Web: winthropeagles.com, click on "Listen Live"

• Winthrop's probable starters: G Yvonne van Daalen 5-9 Jr. (5.8 ppg, 4.1 apg); G Tiffany Rodd 6-0 Jr. (11.2 ppg, 2.5 rpg); F Ashley Fann 6-0 Jr. (13.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg); F Franchesca Davenport 5-11 Jr. (6.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg); C Jennifer Walker 6-2 Jr. (4-9 ppg, 3.6 rpg)

• Charleston Southern's probable starters: C Shaunte Small 6-0 Sr. (3.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg); F Tina DeCarvalho 5-11 So. (6.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg); G Natlie Caldwell 5-8 Sr. (9.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg); G Katie Tull 5-9 Fr. (7.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg); G Pam Tolbert 5-8 Jr. (16.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg)

• Notes: Winthrop won the first meeting of the season and now leads the series 33-26 ... Tiffany Rodd had a career-high 27 points and Ashley Fann tied her career best of 25 in that win ... The last time Winthrop had two players with 20 or more points in the same game came during the 2002-03 season when Tawander Whittingham scored 29 and Laura Herman had 24 in an overtime win against Coastal Carolina ... 5-10 freshman forward Crystal Robinson hasn't started a game for the Lady Bucs this season, but she averages 20 minutes, 8.1 points and 5.0 rebounds.

• Up next: Winthrop hosts High Point at 1 p.m. Saturday.

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