ROCK HILL, SC— Freshman Keon Johnson scored a career-high 20 points in 20 minutes as Winthrop placed four players in double-figures as it defeated Virginia Intermont College 96-62, Saturday evening at the Winthrop Coliseum.
The Eagles improve to 4-1 and will have their first winning record in the month of November since the 2006-07 season. Winthrop will look to finish the month of November with five wins for the first time since 06-07 when it takes on James Madison on Wednesday, Nov. 27 at 7 p.m. Virginia Intermont falls to 1-6 on the season with the loss.
Johnson finished 5-for-8 behind the arc as he and junior Andre Smith were a combined 9-for-15 from three. Smith finished with 16 points on 6-for-11 from the field. Winthrop finished the game shooting 57 percent from the field and 39 percent behind the arc (10-for-26).
At the 12:24 mark of the second half, Keon Moore made a runner in the lane to start a 9-0 run that gave the Eagles a 67-47 lead with 9:26 to play. That run finished off a 20-7 run by Winthrop over a span of six minutes and 34 seconds after the J.D. Tucker jumper made it a seven-point Winthrop lead. The Eagles continued to pour it on offensively as it extended its lead to 30 points with just over four minutes left in the game after Johnson connected on his fifth three-pointer of the game.
The 96 points in a game were the most scored by Winthrop since it scored 107 against Central Penn Nov. 26, 2011. It’s also the second time the Eagles hit 90 or more points this season as they had 93 in the season opening win over Roanoke College.
The Eagles had a balance of scoring in the game as it connected on 10 threes for the second time this season and also finished with 50 points in the paint as it turned 21 miscues by the Cobras into 32 points. Rebounding favored the Cobras in the first half but by the end the Eagles held a 35-31 advantage including 14 offensive boards converted for 19 points.
In the first half, the Eagles used a 6-0 run for a 19-11 advantage with 12:37 left as Josh Davenport started the run as he tipped-in a three-point attempt from Christian Farmer which was followed by a James Bourne score as Brandon Vega split two defenders in transition and dished to Bourne for an uncontested lay-up. On the Eagles next possession Vega found Bourne inside for another lay-up. Vega came off the bench to finish with four points and a career-high eight assists.
After Kris Harris pulled up at the wing to drain a three-pointer to cut the Eagles lead to three points at the 10:29 mark, Johnson answered with a three-pointer that sparked a 7-0 run as he followed his triple with a floater off the glass in transition. Winthrop snagged its first double-digit lead of the game with 9:13 to play in the first half as the Eagles worked the ball around quickly as Larry Brown found Bourne wide open at the backdoor for an easy two.
Virginia Intermont cut the lead back to single-digits with 6:53 left in the half after a Joshua Hart three, but that was answered by a straight away three from Jarad Scott, the first of his collegiate career.
Winthrop went 6-for-18 behind the arc in the first half but also outscored the Cobras 20-6 in the paint.
Bourne finished with a career-high 15 points off the bench as he was a perfect 6-for-6 from the field. The fourth Eagle in double-figures was Tevin Prescott as he tied his career-best of 11 points as he made his first collegiate start. Prescott was 5-for-7 from the field and also set a career-high with four blocks.
Joshua Hart led the Cobras with 17 points on 5-for-11 shooting and Tucker added 15 points to go along with eight rebounds and four assists. Harris finished with 12 points and four rebounds.