Winthrop University

Winthrop women fail to close deficit in non-conference basketball finale

The Winthrop women’s basketball team dropped its last non-conference game of the season Friday, falling 65-57 to the Western Carolina Catamounts at the Winthrop Coliseum.

Winthrop falls to 4-7 on the season while the Catamounts improved to 3-9.

Western Carolina jumped out to quick 5-0 lead in the first minute of play before the Eagles went on a 12-2 run to take a 12-7 lead. The Catamounts worked back to tie the game at 12-12 but Winthrop was able to score the last seven points of the period to lead 19-12 after the first 10 minutes.

The Eagles extended their lead to 10 only 13 seconds into the second quarter and then a back-and-forth period saw Western Carolina slowly chip away at the Winthrop lead. Tess Harris knocked down three three-pointers and scored 13 points in the quarter to bring the Catamounts within one, 34-33, at the halftime break.

Winthrop increased its lead to five in the first minute of the third quarter. Western Carolina then went on a 9-2 run to take its first lead since the 6:02 mark of the first quarter. Scoring slowed over the final four minutes and the two squads headed into the final quarter tied 44-44.

Between the end of the third quarter and early in the fourth quarter, the Eagles went nearly 10 minutes, scoring only two points. The Catamounts opened an eight-point lead in this stretch and pushed it to double-digits. Winthrop tried to make a late charge but the deficit was too big.

Anika Riley led the Eagles with 16 points and eight rebounds while Angela Coello Perezadded 10 points. Winthrop shot 45 percent from the field in the first half but only 28 percent in the second half. Western Carolina shot 45 percent from the floor for the game including 39 percent from three-point range.

Winthrop is on an extended break before conference play at home Jan. 5 at 2 p.m. against the Longwood Lancers.

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