Offensive woes return in loss to Campbell

Winthrop guard Shanice Cole shoots as Campbell's Geami Britt (25) goes for the block Tuesday at Winthrop Coliseum.
Winthrop guard Shanice Cole shoots as Campbell's Geami Britt (25) goes for the block Tuesday at Winthrop Coliseum.

Winthrop remains plagued by an offensive funk.

The Lady Eagles shot just 32.7 percent from the floor Tuesday and lost to Campbell 54-43 for their third straight defeat.

Winthrop fell to 4-6 and will look to regroup in the Big South Conference opener Saturday at Presbyterian.

Campbell (7-4) got a career-best 18 points from Lauren Yesh and 10 from Geami Britt. The Fighting Camels, a former member of the Big South, improved to 19-3 all-time against Winthrop.

Winthrop coach Bud Childers had all his players available for the first time all season. He lifted the suspension of senior Franchesca Davenport, the last of three players to return to the team after violating team rules on Nov. 10.

Winthrop took a 9-8 lead on a Shanice Cole layup at the 11:21 mark in a sloppy first half. The layup ushered in a scoring drought. The Lady Eagles went scoreless over the next 6:40 and trailed 17-9 until Ashley Haugtvedt scored in the paint.

Winthrop has shot just 33 percent from the floor over its last four games. Against Campbell, the Lady Eagles made 6 of 24 first-half shots. It was not the quick start Childers was looking for from his team.

Earlier in the week, Childers talked about offense being where chemistry is made. The team looks as if they need some more time in the lab.

"We were just abysmal shooting the ball. I was very disappointed. We just didn't make any shots," Childers said.

The loss is a hard one to take. Winthrop played solid defense, holding the Camels to less than 32 percent from the field, forcing 22 turnovers and getting 14 steals. Childers expects to win with those defensive numbers.

The three straight losses, against Georgia Tech, Memphis and now Campbell, have been caused by ineffective offense. Tuesday's game marked the third consecutive outing where the opponent made at least twice as many free throws as Winthrop attempted.

Campbell was 23-of-34 from the stripe. Winthrop made just 5 of 12 from the line.

Childers wasn't happy with his team's play. He watched as the Lady Eagles shot themselves in the foot three times in the second half. Each mistake halted attempts to tighten the game.

Tiffany Rodd drained a 3-pointer to open the second half. She buried another from the corner that would have tied the game at 22 at the 18:21 mark, but Ashley Fann was called for an offensive foul away from the ball, negating the bucket.

Trailing 30-25, Cole drove to the basket and scored, only to have it waved off by a three-second violation. Moments later, Ashley Haugtvedt got great position for an offensive rebound, then missed a wide-open layup.

"We didn't just miss the long-range shots, but the little chippies inside," Childers lamented after the game.

With 12:12 to go, he had seen enough. When a call didn't go Winthrop's way, he took off his suit coat, thought carefully about what to do with it, then draped it over a chair on the Winthrop bench.

Childers was visibly frustrated.

"Defensively, we are doing the things we want to do. On offense, we just have to try to get going," he said.

Rodd, coming off ankle sprain, scored a team-high 14 points. Fann added 11 points and six rebounds. Fann moved into fourth place on Winthrop's all-time scoring list, surpassing both Tammy Jones and Jennifer Churchill. She now has 1,281 career points.

Rodd is Winthrop's career leader in 3-pointers. She hit 3 of 11 shots from beyond the arc. She had several open looks.

"The shots were there. We just needed them to fall," the senior shooting guard said.

Having the team back at full strength should help Childers and his staff sort out rotations on floor. He used 11 players in the first half against Campbell, still searching for the right combination.

Settling on that combination will be a focus in practice as the Lady Eagles prepare to face Presbyterian on Saturday.

Davenport entered the game midway through the first half. She was projected to be a starter for this team but missed the first nine games due to the suspension.

She was rusty. She committed three turnovers in the first half, but bounced back to contribute three points and two assists in eight second-half minutes.