The Winthrop men’s road winning streak ended at four games as the Eagles fell 73-66 to Radford, on Saturday afternoon at the Dedmon Center.
Winthrop (11-10, 6-4 Big South) had won three straight games and four straight on the road before falling to the Highlanders for the second time in a two-week span.
Winthrop returns home for its next two contests beginning with Charleston Southern on Monday at 8 p.m.
Xavier Cooks, who finished with eight points, scored on a drive with 3:21 left in the game to give Winthrop a 66-65 lead after trailing by eight points with 13 minutes remaining and seven points with 7:09 to play. After each team failed to score on their next possession, R.J. Price came through for the Highlanders, knocking down a jumper at the free-throw line with 1:41 left for a 67-66 lead. Javonte Green scored the game’s final four points to give Radford the win.
Trailing by one point Keon Johnson had a good look for three, but couldn’t get the shot to fall and then Green was credited with a basket on the other end when Duby Okeke was called for goaltending. Then Keon Moore couldn’t get a jumper to fall with 35 seconds left but as the Eagles chased the ball to foul the Highlanders worked it down court quickly and Green finished with a dunk to go up five with 23 seconds left.
“I thought Radford was really, really good in the second half,” said Winthrop coach Pat Kelsey. “They’re probably the most potent offensive team top-to-bottom in our entire conference. They played a really good second half. They came right out of the chute going right at our teeth with Green, who’s a player of the year candidate and one of the best players in our league.”
Green scored six of the Highlanders first 11 points to help erase the halftime deficit as Radford opened the second half on a 17-5 run to grab a five-point advantage with 15:19 to play.
The Highlanders (16-7, 7-3) put up 46 points two weeks ago to rally for the win at Winthrop and scored 45 second half points in this game. Radford shot 52 percent from the floor in the second half and was 3-for-6 from three as it finished the game shooting 46 percent.
Winthrop finished the game shooting 44 percent after shooting 39 percent in the second half and was led in scoring by Moore’s 22 points. Andre Smith added 14 points and four assists as they were the only two Eagles in double figures. It is the sixth straight game the Eagles have had a player hit the 20-point plateau.
Green led the Highlanders with 21 points on 7-for-10 shooting and 7-for-8 at the foul line as Price added 13 points.
Winthrop started the game 3-for-10 from the field but for the remainder of the half it was 10-for-17 and turned a seven-point deficit into a seven-point halftime lead at 35-28. It was a combination of defense and offense that led the comeback as the Eagles outscored the Highlanders 16-4 over the final 6:44 of the half.
Radford held a seven-point lead on two different occasions as it opened the game on a 7-0 run behind a four-point play and three-pointer from Price and then led 20-13 after a Rashun Davis jumper just inside the three-point line with 9:26 remaining.
Following the Davis jumper, Winthrop quickly turned things around with back-to-back threes from Smith and Moore. Those baskets sparked an 11-4 run that saw the Eagles tie the game at 24-24 with 5:49 to play on a Moore jumper.
Moore was 7-for-9 from the field while Smith was 4-for-9 and the two combined to go 4-for-5 from three to help the Eagles build the halftime advantage. Winthrop shot 48 percent in the first half and was 5-for-9 behind the arc while holding Radford to 40 percent from the field and 2-for-10 from three. Price opened the game with back-to-back threes but the Highlanders were 0-for-8 the rest of the half.