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Winthrop women's basketball team looking to bounce back against Blue Hose

The Winthrop Lady Eagles can shed themselves of a three-game losing streak this afternoon.

That is, if history can repeat itself.

The Lady Eagles play at Presbyterian, a first-year entry into the Big South Conference, at 5 p.m. in the Ross E. Templeton Center in Clinton.

Winthrop, 4-6 overall, beat the Blue Hose handily a year ago, 66-48. Today's game will be the first BSC game of the season for both teams.

Presbyterian (2-8) is playing in its second season in Division I. They have lost five straight games. Like Winthrop, the Blue Hose are having trouble scoring. They lost 66-33 in their last game on Dec. 20 at Army and scored a season-low 28 points in a game at East Carolina.

PC is being outscored 65.1 to 44.3 through the first 10 games.

Winthrop tallied only 27 points against 25th-ranked Georgia Tech on Dec. 18. The Lady Eagles followed that performance with a 52-46 loss to Memphis and, most recently, a 54-43 setback at home to Campbell.

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

Ashley Fann leads the team in scoring and rebounding, but she isn't the player she was when she strung together three consecutive double-doubles, culminating with a 16-point, 13-rebound effort at Clemson on Nov. 25. She comes into today's game averaging just over 11 points and eight rebounds per game.

She isn't getting to the free throw line or finishing shots the way she did earlier this season. Winthrop coach Bud Childers has seen Fann struggle on offense before and is confident she'll come out of the slump.

She is one of six seniors on this year's roster and the most prolific scorer. She moved into fourth-place on the school's all-time scoring list with her 11 points Tuesday. She now has 1,281 for her career.

Fann is one of several components on a talented team that isn't clicking. Point guard Yvonne van Daalen was disappointed in her play in the recent Bahamas Sunsplash Shootout tournament. Enough so that she addressed the team and apologized.

Tiffany Rodd scored a team-high 14 points against Campbell, but can improve on a 5-for-15 from the floor night.

"The shots were there, we just needed them to fall," Rodd said after that game.

Another alarming statistic is the disparity in free throws between the Lady Eagles and their opponents. In the last four games, Winthrop is 40-of-62 from the line while other teams have made 68-of-109 attempts against them.

Winthrop and PC have one common opponent this year. Both teams have played at Clemson.

Winthrop took the Tigers to the wire before losing 76-68. Van Daalen scored a career-high 17 points. Ashley Haugtvedt also scored 17 and Fann added 16.

Presbyterian committed 30 turnovers at Clemson and lost 66-35. The game spotlighted PC's lack of size. They were outrebounded by the Tigers 41-28.

Chelsea Wright is Presbyterian's tallest player. She stands 5-11. Forward Lea Smith is 5-10. She leads the team in rebounding at 5.5 a game, but her team is outrebounded by an average of 12 every game.

Childers mentioned early this week he was working with a lineup that would include Jennifer Walker (6-3), Haugtvedt (6-2) and Fann (6-0) on the floor at the same time.

First-year Blue Hose coach Ronny Fisher has just eight players on his roster. Starting point guard Kaitlin Moore is from Fort Mill. She played her prep ball at Charlotte Catholic.

Winthrop has played at home just two times in the last five weeks, but that will change after today. The Lady Eagles will begin a five-game stretch of home contests on Tuesday with a 7 p.m. nonconference tilt against Charlotte's Johnson C. Smith.

WINTHROP (4-6, 0-0) AT PRESBYTERIAN (2-8, 0-0)

• When: 5 p.m.

• Where: Ross E. Templeton Center

• TV: None

• Internet radio: winthropeagles.com

• Winthrop probable starters: Yvonne van Daalen 5-9 Sr. (6.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg); G Tiffany Rodd 6-0 Sr. (9.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg); F Jessica Fansler 5-11 Jr. (6.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg); F Ashley Fann 6-0 Sr. (11.9 ppg, 8.1 rpg); C Ashley Haugtvedt 6-2 Sr. (8.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg).

• Presbyterian probable starters: G Amanda Mills 5-6 So. (11.1 ppg, 0.6 rpg); G Kaitlin Moore 5-7 So. (10.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg); G Kristen Stevens 5-7 Fr. (5.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg); F Lea Smith 5-10 Jr. (6.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg); F Brittany Brown 5-9 Fr. (6.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg).

• Game notes: Presbyterian has lost five straight games dating back to a Nov. 26 win over Montreat ... The Blue Hose have just one Division I win this year, a 62-50 win over Colgate ... PC is in its second year at the DI level and first season in the Big South ... Winthrop has lost three in a row ... The Lady Eagles have a considerable size and depth advantage over PC ... Presbyterian's tallest players are 5-11 Chelsea Wright and 5-10 Lea Smith ... Blue Hose coach Ronny Fisher has just eight players on his roster.

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