Winthrop University

Winthrop falls flat in basketball regular season finale at Hampton

Winthrop students think Pat Kelsey is crazy. That’s okay as long as they attend games

Winthrop University (SC) basketball coach Pat Kelsey will do almost anything to get students to come to Eagles home basketball games. He showed that Jan. 31, 2019 during a quick tour around campus to promote the Winthrop-Radford game.
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Winthrop University (SC) basketball coach Pat Kelsey will do almost anything to get students to come to Eagles home basketball games. He showed that Jan. 31, 2019 during a quick tour around campus to promote the Winthrop-Radford game.

Winthrop’s men’s basketball regular season ended with a thud Thursday night at Hampton.

The Pirates floored the Eagles with a first half run and never struggled in handing Pat Kelsey’s team its third loss in the last four games.

The Eagles shot the ball poorly in the 90-75 loss, making just 32 percent of their 34 3-point attempts, and they didn’t defend much better. Three Winthrop players fouled out and Hampton got 20 points from the foul line.

Bjorn Broman’s 3 put Winthrop (18-11, 10-6 Big South) in front 17-11 in the first half. But Hampton (13-15, 8-7) surged into a big lead with a 26-4 run spurred by star guard Jermaine Marrow, who hit a pair of deep 3s during the burst. Akim Mitchell’s corner 3 pushed the Pirates’ lead to 37-21 and forced a timeout from Kelsey. The Eagles made just 1 of 12 shots from 3-point range during the same stretch.

Winthrop chewed away at the deficit and cut it to six (58-52) with around 12 minutes left in the game when Nych Smith drained a 3 while falling down in front of the Eagles’ bench. But that was as close as the Eagles got.

Marrow led Hampton with 22 points. Josh Ferguson (18), Smith (15), Broman (14) and Adam Pickett (14) hit double figures for Winthrop.

The Eagles have locked up a first round bye in the Big South Conference tournament. The top-five team in the final conference standings don’t have to play in the opening round of games on Thursday, March 5.

While Winthrop relaxes this Saturday, the other 10 Big South teams will complete their regular seasons.

Radford (12-3 Big South) sits in first place headed into the final round of games, but the Highlanders face second-placed Campbell (11-4). The Camels beat Radford on a buzzer-beating Chris Clemons 3 in their first meeting. A Campbell win Saturday would give the Camels hosting priority for the conference tournament.

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