Winthrop junior center Schaquilla Nunn scored 20 points and pulled down a career-best 20 rebounds, but the Eagles fell 65-52 to Campbell in the quarterfinals of the Big South tournament on Thursday afternoon at the HTC Center.
With the loss, No. 4 seeded Winthrop finishes its season with a 17-13 record while No. 5 Campbell improves to 19-11 and advances to Saturday night’s semifinals round against No. 1-seeded Liberty.
The 20 rebounds earned Nunn her 15th double-double of the season, while Erica Williams finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds for her 12th double-double. Nunn became Winthrop’s career rebound leader in the first half when she surpassed Ashley Fann’s mark of 894. The 20-point and 20-rebound performance was just the third achieved in the history of the tournament. Nunn finishes the season with 910 career rebounds and 982 career points.
Summer Leverette and Amanda Cofer led Campbell with 16 points each, while Kiera Gaines added 15. Leverette did most of her damage from behind the arc, finished 4-of-6 on three balls, including 3-of-4 in the second half.
The Eagles were looking to defend their Big South championship, but poor shooting and 23 turnovers prevented that from happening. Winthrop shot 30 percent from the floor (22-of-73) and connected on just 2-of-16 from behind the 3-point arc. The 23 turnovers, which equaled a season-high, offset a commanding 55-38 rebounding advantage.
“That was a tough ballgame. I want to congratulate Campbell for a gritty victory,” said Winthrop coach Kevin Cook. “We weren’t able to respond to their pressure and turned the ball over way too many times. We outrebounded them by a large margin but weren’t able to convert those into points. We had an energized shoot around this morning. I thought we were ready and focused, but Campbell converted a lot of turnovers into points.”
After trailing 24-23 at halftime, Winthrop scored two quick baskets by Williams and Nunn to open the second half and took a 27-24 lead. But that’s when the complexion of the game turned as Campbell ran off 15 unanswered points to take a 39-27 lead with 14:33 left to play. Gaines scored six of her 15 points during that run.
During that 15-0 run by the Camels, Winthrop went 10 possessions without scoring. The Eagles committed seven turnovers and missed three shots during that stretch.
Winthrop got back to within seven points on three occasions in the final 14 minutes with the last time coming with 8:13 remaining when Nunn’s layup made it a 47-40 game. Campbell responded with a 15-7 run to put the game out of reach when Raeshawn Edwards drove the lane and scored to give the Camels a 63-47 advantage with just 35 seconds left.
The first half was a game of streaks. Williams scored six of her points in the opening 6:51 as the Eagles took an 11-6 lead following consecutive put back field goals by Samiya Wright.
Campbell then ran off 13 unanswered points to go up 19-11 with 8:12 left in the half after Summer Price knocked down a 3-pointer, one of three the Camels made during that stretch. Leverette and Gaines connected on the other two.
It was then Winthrop’s turn to respond, as Nunn and Kilpatrick scored four points each during an 8-0 run that tied the game at 19-19 at the 5:25 mark. Campbell then went back ahead 24-19 with just over four minutes remaining on a free throw by Raeshawn Edwards, a layup by Price and a follow by Gaines.
Williams scored inside and then hit an off balance jumper along the baseline with 2:14 left to draw Winthrop to within a point at halftime.