Winthrop Dominates Radford With Defense In A 57-40 Big South Win

Posted February 16, 2014 10:41 pm | Filed under Sports, Winthrop Athletics, Winthrop Basketball

ROCK HILL, SC–Winthrop used a dominating defense and a strong inside game as it ran its winning streak to six straight with a 57-40 victory over Radford on Saturday afternoon at the Winthrop Coliseum.

The Eagles were led by the double-double performances of sophomore center Schaquilla Nunn and freshman forward Erica Williams who combined for 35 points and 22 rebounds.

The win improved the Eagles to 19-6 overall and they maintained their hold on first place in the Big South Conference with a 13-3 record. Radford’s two-game winning streak was snapped as the Highlanders fall to 7-19 and 5-12.

Nunn scored 17 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, blocked four shots and made four steals while Williams had a game-high 18 points to go along with 10 rebounds. With her 17 points Nunn surpassed 500 points. She now has 510 points and 522 rebounds in less than two full seasons. The double-double was her 14th of the season and 28th of her career while Williams recorded her eighth double-double.

Dequesha McClanahan scored 12 points as she moved to within 39 points of becoming the all-time leading Big South scorer. She now has 2,116 points and trails former Liberty standout Elena Kisseleva’s 2,154 career points.

The 40 points allowed to Radford was a new season low for Winthrop’s opponents, and the Eagles held the Highlanders to 32.7 percent field goal shooting (17 of 52) after entering the game ranked eighth in the NCAA Division I at 34.7 percent. Winthrop shot 40.3 percent (25-62) thanks to a combined 15 of 26 shooting by Nunn and Williams.

Winthrop dominated the inside game by outscoring Radford 28-12 in the paint and 20-2 on second chance points. The Eagles also had an 18-6 advantage in points off turnovers. Winthrop won the rebound battle 46-29.

Radford placed two players in double figures with Aisha Foy finishing with 12 while Kermisha Clark had 10. Rachell Ross tied Nunn for game-high rebound honors.

Winthrop never trailed in the game after Nunn’s short jumper in the paint gave the Eagles a 6-4 lead just under five minutes into the contest. Radford managed to stay within two points after Clark’s jumper made it a 13-11 Eagle advantage with 11 minutes left in the first half, but Winthrop then created some space by outscoring RU 15-4 over the next six minutes, 46 seconds to go ahead 28-15 on an 18-foot jumper by Zoe Vernon.

Radford responded with an 8-0 run in a span of four minutes to get back to within five points at 28-23 when Clark converted a three-point play with 2:10 left in the period. Winthrop led 32-23 at intermission.

The Highlanders trailed by seven at 36-29 with 15:47 left in the contest, but Winthrop opened the margin to 16 points with a 10-1 run to give the Eagles a 46-30 advantage with 8:37 remaining and they coasted to the finish.

Winthrop will travel to Longwood for a 7 p.m. game on Feb. 20 while Radford’s next game will be on Feb. 22 at Longwood.