Sports

Winthrop upends Newberry 67-55

Winthrop guard Yvonne van Daalen drives to the basket against Newberry at the Winthrop Coliseum on Saturday.
Winthrop guard Yvonne van Daalen drives to the basket against Newberry at the Winthrop Coliseum on Saturday.

Ashley Fann recorded her second straight double-double to lead the Lady Eagles to a 67-55 win over Newberry on Saturday in the Winthrop Coliseum.

Fann finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds. She had 23 and 10 on Nov. 16 against North Carolina A&T.

Like the rest of the Lady Eagles, Fann was slow to get started against Newberry. Newberry led 13-9 before Fann hit her first field goal with 10:33 left in the first half. The layup ignited a 29-9 run to close out the half.

"We were rushing our shots early. (Winthrop) Coach (Bud Childers) told us before the game if we were quick with our shots and just took jumpers, Newberry would hang around," Fann said.

That turned out to be the case. Winthrop made just two of its first 12 shots from the floor. Childers called a couple of timeouts to remind his team what they had talked about. The Lady Eagles responded by making 11 of 19 shots over the final 10 minutes of the half.

"The worst thing we could have done was to take quick, early jump shots," Childers said. "We couldn't find our rhythm. We wanted to get the ball inside to Fann and take advantage of that matchup."

Tiffany Rodd, bothered by a mild ankle sprain, shot 50 percent on 3-pointers (2-for-4) and scored 12 points in 18 minutes. Her 3-pointers came late in the first half. The first came from the corner and the second from the wing to give Winthrop a 32-18 lead with 1:26 to go in the half. Both were assisted by Yvonne van Daalen.

This was the third game of what is being called a 'mini season' by Childers. Three players are out due to indefinite suspensions, and another player is sidelined by a concussion. The suspensions could be lifted prior to the Dec. 7 game at home against George Mason. That is what the team is working toward.

If nothing else, the suspensions and the injury allowed Childers and his staff to get a good look at Taquoia Hammick and Ashley Cox.

Cox, a 6-2 redshirt freshman, scored nine points and had five rebounds. She is a combo guard/forward that will pose some mismatches for opponents this year and in the future.

She and Hammick, a 6-3 freshman center from St. Paul, Minn., played more than 20 minutes each and helped the Lady Eagles to a 51-29 rebounding edge.

"Cox is getting better. It's good to see her make some shots," Childers said. "Taquoia is limited offensively, but you can see her defensive potential."

Van Daalen played well, finishing with five points, five rebounds and seven assists.

Winthrop led by as many as 19 points, 65-46, with 2:38 left. Newberry pieced together a 9-2 run to end the game.

Newberry (2-2) was led by Monica Alexander's 18 points. Helen McKinney added 12 points, and center Anita Bulcher had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Winthrop's Shelly Hankins returned to the court after missing the first two games of the year recovering from knee surgery. She providing the energy boost the Lady Eagles needed.

Winthrop trailed 11-7 at the 13:32 mark when Hankins entered the game. She played 12 minutes in the first half and had three rebounds and a blocked shot.

Childers said earlier in the week he would be happy to get just a few minutes from her. She ended up playing 21 minutes, scored two points and had five boards.

"I felt good," Hankins said after the game. She did have a scare early in the second half when she set a pick and a Newberry defender hit the knee hard enough to knock her off balance.

Childers said his coaching staff saw it and suggested they get Hankins off the floor to be sure she was OK.

"That's the way it happens. You always get hit in the first game back. Shelly was a little winded, but we wanted to get her some minutes today," Childers said.

Winthrop (2-1) will travel to Clemson for a 7 p.m. game Tuesday night. The last time the teams met in the 2005-2006 season, the Tigers took a 52-51 win on a last-second shot.

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