Strong performances from Aliyah Kilpatrick and Schaquilla Nunn helped the Winthrop women’s basketball team passed a tough test on the week of final exams. The Eagles defeated the visiting Davidson Wildcats 75-60 o n Saturday night at Winthrop Coliseum.
Nunn finished with her fourth double-double of the season, tallying up 15 points and 16 boards in the win. Kilpatrick led the team in scoring with a new career-high 23 points and 8 rebounds of her own.
“I just went out there with the mindset of playing for my team,” Kilpatrick said.
“I think that’s what always gets me going. Just being out there, especially being out last year, I just love being on the court and playing ball.”
The Eagles were without the services of leading scorer Erica Williams in the win, but that didn’t stop sophomore CiCi Buford from contributing off the bench, netting career-high 11 points in the second half alone.
“She came in and gave us a boost of the bench,” Nunn said of Buford. “I feel like any one of us is capable of having our star night.”
Zoe Vernon also entered double-digit scoring late in the game, ending her night with 10 points.
The win also marks head coach Kevin Cook’s 50th win since coming to Winthrop in 2012.
He gave credit to his team and staff for getting to this milestone in such a quick manner, calling it a “team effort.”
“If you don’t have great players, then it doesn’t matter how good of a coach you are. It’s not just the athletic talent of the players, but their character, their integrity. I have one of the most loyal staffs in America, they give their time and give themselves for the team,” he said.
Despite a slow first half, Eagles came out swinging in the second half, going on a 13-3 run the first five minutes to gain their first lead of the game.
From there, Davidson began to climb back in it, but Winthrop continued to find the basket and kept enough distance to put the game away late.
Both teams came out cold in the early parts of the game, shooting a combined 2-13 in the first four minutes. Kilpatrick then took control for the Eagles while Early did so for the visitors.
Winthrop found themselves down by seven with nearly ten minutes until halftime, but used a 11-4 run in the final eight minutes to tie things up at 20 off a Kilpatrick three-pointer.
The Wildcats soon regained control, going on a 7-2 tear of their own in the closing moments of the half, and went into halftime with a slight lead.
The 5-3 Eagles will next head to Wichita State University, where they’ll participate in the Shocker Winter Classic. The team will square off with George Mason on Dec. 19 and then face the hosting Shockers on Dec. 20.