Winthrop University

Both Winthrop basketball teams win league road games, women up to third in Big South

Winthrop coach expects Gregg Marshall to call him, ‘rip’ his head off if he sees this

On Jan. 12, 2019 after Winthrop beat High Point, Eagles coach Pat Kelsey reacts to the possibility that his team is known as a finesse, 3-point shooting team.
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On Jan. 12, 2019 after Winthrop beat High Point, Eagles coach Pat Kelsey reacts to the possibility that his team is known as a finesse, 3-point shooting team.

Winthrop women’s basketball continued its resurgent 2018-19 season Saturday with a last-second road win at Gardner-Webb.

Lynette Woodard’s program capped a 2-0 week in league play with a 64-62 victory thanks to Jah’Che Whitfield’s off balance shot from the baseline with less than 2 seconds to play. The Eagles hadn’t won more than four games the last three seasons, but already are 8-9 this campaign, including 4-2 in Big South action.

Kem Nwabudu led Winthrop with 15 points, while Whitfield chipped in 12. The Eagles overcame 23 turnovers by holding Gardner-Webb to 32 percent shooting from the floor. Winthrop fell behind in the first quarter, but outscored the Runnin’ Bulldogs by eight in the final quarter to win a second straight league game, after beating Campbell last Tuesday. The Eagles are back in action at home on Jan. 22 against Hampton, which is 4-1 in the conference.

And the men also picked up a road victory thanks to a strong second half at USC Upstate. The Eagles (12-6, 4-1 Big South) trailed 47-39 at halftime, but outscored the host Spartans by 18 in the second half on the way to a 82-72 win.

Nych Smith topped Winthrop’s scoring efforts with 23 off the bench. Adam Pickett had a strong game, especially getting into the lane, and he finished with 16. Kyle Zunic added 14, including four 3-pointers. An 8-0 run got Winthrop back into the game in the second half, and a 9-0 run put them in the lead for good.

The Eagles continued a strong season of rebounding, besting the Spartans 47-34 on the backboards. That proved crucial during Winthrop’s second half surge, because Upstate only shot 25 percent in the second 20 minutes, which led to a number of one shot-and-done possessions for the Spartans (5-15, 0-5).

Winthrop’s men are back in action almost immediately, hosting UNC Asheville Monday at 2 p.m. Five different times this season Pat Kelsey’s team will play two games in three days, a scheduling quirk owing mainly to the Big South having an odd number 11 teams. The Eagles beat Asheville in the Big South opener earlier this month, 80-65.

Big South Conference basketball standings (as of Jan. 20, 2019)


TeamConference recordOverall record
High Point3-210-6
UNC Asheville3-38-9
Charleston Southern2-45-12
USC Upstate 1-45-11


TeamConference recordOverall record
High Point3-110-8
Charleston Southern1-37-10
USC Upstate0-55-15
UNC Asheville0-52-17
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