RADFORD, Va. -- Winthrop's basketball team doesn't play again for two weeks after Saturday night's 73-52 loss to Radford in the cracker box called Peters Hall.
In addition to taking end of semester exams over the next two weeks, the Eagles have lots of numbers to ponder before they play at Old Dominion on Dec. 20.
They go into the break 1-7 overall and 0-2 in the Big South Conference, having lost seven straight games. The overall start is the worst since a similar start in 1997-98, the losing streak is the longest since 1995, and, more importantly, the league start is the first 0-2 beginning since 1997-98.
They don't play another league game until January and they'll be staring at a two-game hole when league play resumes.
Winthrop coach Randy Peele described where his team is after eight games as "rock bottom."
On Saturday night, in the steamy 500-seat temporary home of the Highlanders, the numbers that mattered came in the second half, when the Eagles scored a paltry 18 points, couldn't find any semblance of offensive flow and couldn't handle 6-11, 260-pound Artisom Parakhouski in the lane.
The Highlanders (3-4, 1-1), who snapped a 12-game losing streak against the Eagles, played more 2-3 zone than they have all season, and with good reason. The Eagles are a walking advertisement for coaches who want to play zone. They're having trouble moving the ball and even more shooting it.
After shooting 55 percent, but still trailing 38-34 at the break, the Eagles shot 18.5 percent (5-of-27) in the second half. Of their second-half points, 11 came in the final three minutes after the Highlanders raced to a 63-43 lead.
Winthrop tried to attack the zone with drives to the middle, but they usually ran into Parakhouski or 6-8 Joey Lynch-Flohr.
And on the other end, Parakhouski, the junior college transfer from Southern Idaho, muscled his way to 24 points and 10 rebounds. He hit 11 of 12 shots and had his way with the smaller and less physical Eagles. If not for foul trouble, he would have had more. He had 12 in each half.
"He played his best game," Radford coach Brad Greenberg said. "He handled the ball well and was aggressive. And our guys did a good job of being selective when to throw it to him."
Kenny Thomas described it best.
"We go inside-out and when he's feeling it, he can get hot," Thomas said. "He was hot, so we were hot."
In the second half, the Eagles weren't even lukewarm.
The Eagles missed their first eight shots of the second half, but the Highlanders, forgetting they had the big man inside, didn't put them away, at least not at that point. But leading 41-34, Parakhouski scored on a follow shot and Thomas, who had 20 points, scored on an inbounds pass to push the lead to 47-38.
If Winthrop had a chance, it came with 11:26 to play, after Lynch-Flohr decked Chris Malcolm with an elbow and got whistled for a technical foul when he protested the foul call.
But Winthrop's Cameron Stanley missed both free throws and the Eagles turned the ball over on the ensuing possession. Winthrop cut the lead to 47-40, but a 16-3 Radford run, half of the points coming from Parakhouski, put it away.
Charles Corbin had 11 points for Winthrop, but Winthrop's guards were a combined 4-for-23 from the floor.
"We worked on the zone," Peele said. "We knew they were going to play zone, but teams know Winthrop is having trouble scoring. But no matter what we do, we have to make shots. I don't know why we're not making them.
"On offense, we were absolutely inept."
Peele said he wasn't sure what he would do over the next two weeks other than "we've got to get off the road."
"Over the next two weeks, we've got to find out what adjustments we can make for this team to have a chance to win.
"I'm embarrassed for the former players who have worn the Winthrop uniform. I'm at a loss for words."