Sports

Rodd, Walker lead Eagles over High Point

Winthrop's Tiffany Rodd demonstrated in no uncertain terms Saturday afternoon that there's more to her game than the 3-pointer ... much more.

Rodd, the Eagles' all-time leading 3-point shooter, took advantage of a High Point defensive scheme aimed at taking away the shot from beyond the arc -- she did nail two in the second half -- and scored 22 points to help Winthrop down the Panthers 65-47 in a regionally televised Big South Conference game at the Winthrop Coliseum.

The win moved coach Bud Childers' Eagles to 17-9 overall and 5-3 in the BSC, which assured them no worse than a tie for second in the league standings. High Point dropped to 12-12, 4-4.

Rodd came into Saturday's game with only 35 of her 99 field goals on the season coming from inside the arc. She scored Winthrop's first basket on a 15-footer just 10 seconds into the game that set the trend. The junior had 12 points in the scorebook before hitting her first 3-pointer with 13:37 left in the game.

"People play her so hard at the 3-point line, so we told her to curl to the basket," Childers said. "You can't take everything away. Take away the 3, and you're going to give up something else.

"She did a great job of turning that corner, and she hit a couple of tough shots."

Those shots gave her some breathing room from beyond the arc. She was wide open on all four of her attempts.

"I was focusing on curling to the basket the whole game today," said Rodd, who beat High Point with a late 3-pointer earlier this year. "That opened up the 3."

Winthrop also got a career-high 15 points from junior college transfer Jennifer Walker, who has proved to be a strong inside weapon for the Eagles, especially the last two games. She had 14 points and seven rebounds in Tuesday's lopsided victory at Charleston Southern.

"She was outstanding," Childers said. "There was a lot of contact inside, and she made some tough, tough shots."

The victory keeps the Eagles in the hunt for one of the top seeds in the league tournament, which will be held in Asheville, N.C., March 14-16.

"After Valentine's Day, every win you get is big because you're heading into postseason play," Childers said. "You can almost count them two -- one you didn't lose and one you picked up."

Saturday's game had all the markings of another nail-biter between the Panthers and Eagles. But a 3-pointer by Jessica Fansler with 7:26 left in the first half and the game tied at 18 seemed to light a fire under Winthrop, which led 31-22 at the break.

High Point stayed within striking distance until a Walker follow shot with 15:24 remaining started Winthrop on a 9-0 run. The last three of those points came on Rodd's first 3-pointer and gave Winthrop a 44-30 lead.

• NOTES: The Eagles are now 15-1 when they score 60 or more points ... Junior Ashley Fann pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds ... Winthrop is 3-0 in games that were part of the WBCA's "Think Pink" program, which is designed to promote the awareness of and battle against breast cancer. The Eagles wore pink head bands, wrist bands and shoelaces. It was also "Think Pink" night at UNC Asheville and Charleston Southern.

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