Winthrop University

Winthrop wins first Big South women’s basketball opener in five years

Winthrop last won a Big South women’s basketball season opener in 2014.

That streak is over.

Lynette Woodard’s Eagles knocked off Longwood 77-69 in the Coliseum Saturday afternoon, with the help of three double-digit scorers. Kem Nwabudu led the way with 20 points, Jah’che Whitfield added 19 and Miquela Santoro 10 to get Winthrop’s league campaign off to a positive start.

The Eagles (5-7, 1-0 Big South) hit just four 3-pointers, but they made 12 steals and forced Longwood into 22 turnovers. Nwabudu had three steals and Courtney Hagaman, Essence Cowan and Kayla Atkins each had two.

A Mallory Odell 3 pulled Longwood (1-10, 0-1) to within a point of Winthrop’s lead (63-62) with 2 minutes, 20 seconds left in the game. But the Eagles hit 10 free throws in the remaining time to ice the win.

Winthrop plays its third straight home game on Tuesday, Jan. 8 against Charleston Southern.