Winthrop dispatches Davidson

Aliyah Kilpatrick shooting a layup

Winthrop dispatches Davidson

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.

 

 

 

 

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Winthrop students participate in “die-in” protest

While many of students on Winthrop University’s campus used study day to prepare for final exams, some decided to participate in a “die-in” protest on Scholar’s Walk.

The protest comes off the heels of Grand juries in Missouri and New York not indicting white police officers in the deaths of two African-American citizens (Michael Brown and Eric Garner).

“It’s a peaceful demonstration where we lie down and represent other fallen citizens that were done unjust by the legal system,” said mass communication major Jarrion Manning, who helped organize the event.

Manning said he and a friend also teamed up with the NAACP and Xeta Phi Beta to help put on the demonstration.

This comes the day after another event called #BeyondFerguson that also included a peaceful march into the night.

Tuesday’s event began at 3 in the afternoon, and featured speeches before the demonstrators took their positions and lied down on the cold brick surface of Scholar’s Walk.

The die-in lasted for around 30 minutes, and some students even brought signs, further promoting the event’s cause for awareness to the subject. No one interfered with the protest, and there was no counter protest or police involvement.

Manning estimated that around 75-100 students showed up to the event, said that it was “definitely a success.”

Students who attended also felt like they had sent a positive message through a peaceful protest.

“I think an event like this really speaks volumes to students who aren’t involved,” said CSL president Ian Deas, who participated in the event.

“People who came and didn’t know about it walked by, stopped and looked, trying to figure out what it was about. It sort of spread the message further than social media could.”

Organizers also used word of mouth to get information about the event out to students and people in the Rock Hill community came to participate.

Social media also played a big role in promoting the event, with the hashtag #wunitedforourrights.

“Instagram, Twitter and Facebook is really how I think the word got spread,” said Deas.

Manning said he hopes that this, and other events like this on campus will spark more opportunities to spread this movement’s message.

“We’re defiantly going to have more events,” he said. “We’re going to try and do a march to the State House, trying to do petitions and other types of peaceful events.”

 

Josh Davenport

Eagles prepare for clash with Clemson

Pat Kelsey’s Winthrop Eagles got a big season-opener win against Pfeiffer on Homecoming, but now the team will get its first true test of the season when they travel to Clemson to take on the Tigers.

Quick Details

Time: 7 p.m., EST

Place: Littlejohn Coliseum, Clemson, SC

TV: Fox Sports South, ESPN3 (subject to blackout)

Radio: 104.1 The Bridge

A Rivalry Renewed?

Believe it or not, the Tigers and Eagles have only met 10 times, having last played in 2011. Clemson is 9-1 in the series, with the only Winthrop win coming in 2001 under former coach Gregg Marshall at Littlejohn Coliseum.

About Clemson

The Tigers had a solid 2013-14 campaign, winning 23 games and placing 6th in the deep Atlantic Coast Conference. Falling just short of the NCAA Tournament, Clemson made a deep run through the NIT, making it to that tournament’s final four.

Rod Hall will be a player to watch, as he’ll be directing traffic as a senior point guard while bigs Landry Nnoko’s and Sidy Djitte  dominate the boards.

Clemson got off to a 1-0 start on Friday with a 86-41 win over Florida A&M. The Tigers didn’t allow a single three-point field goal, and shot 43 percent from the field overall.

Keys for Winthrop

Tell Me Moore

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Senior Keon Moore was on fire in Saturday’s win of Pfeiffer. Scoring a near-career high 25 points, he was everywhere on the floor. In contrast, the Tigers had one of the best three-point shooting defenses in the country last season. It will be interesting to see how Clemson’s top-notch perimeter defense reacts to a shooter like Moore, who shot 70 percent from beyond the arc last Saturday.

Hitting the Big Time

One of the biggest questions surrounding Winthrop before Saturday was how well the young frontcourt would adapt. With veteran guys like James Bourne and Larry Brown out, several freshman made their Eagle debuts early in the rout.

Redshirt freshman Dube Okeke one of the biggest impacts, scoring in double-digits. Xavier Cooks and Joseph Lopez also provided help off the bench, and will have to limit rookie mistakes when they step on the floor in Clemson.

Luckily, Winthrop also has some depth with their bigs as well. Sophomore Jarad Scott had 10 rebounds last week. He and junior Tevin Prescott will have to set the pace inside early if the Eagles want a chance to upset.

Like Father, Like Son?

Winthrop assistant coach Marty McGillan’s son Riley actually plays for Clemson as a walk-on. The elder McGillan was also an assistant for Clemson head coach Brad Brownell during his tenures at UNC Wilmington and Wright State.

Aliyah Kilpatrick shooting a layup

Winthrop women set to take on Furman

The Winthrop women’s basketball team enjoyed a strong opening day win over Gallaudet on Saturday, as last year’s conference championship team was honored.

Now, the first real challenge of their new season begins, as the Eagles will host Furman tonight.

Quick Details

Time: 7 p.m., EST

Place: Winthrop Coliseum, Rock Hill, SC

TV: Big South Network

A Rivalry Renewed?

The Eagles and Paladins haven’t met in women’s basketball in a decade and a half. The last game between the two was a 82-43 win for Furman, but Winthrop leads the series all-time, 19-13.

About Furman

The Paladins, like Winthrop, were a big success story last season. Head coach Jackie Carson’s squad won 18 games last year, and placed second in the Southern Conference while also earning a trip to the WNIT. Furman was picked to place second in the SoCon preseason poll.

Leading the purple and white on the floor will be senior forward Brittany Hodges, who was voted the SoCon Preseason Player of the Year and turned in a 17-point, 24-rebound performance in a 67-60 home win over Davidson last Friday.

Furman’s leading scorer, junior Holli Wilkins, will also be an threat, averaging just over 15 points per game last year and 8 in the win over Davidson.

The Paladins also have height on their side, with four of their projected starting five being at least 5’9”.

Keys for Winthrop

Nunn-stoppable?

To match up with a player like Brittany Hodges, the Eagles have junior Schaquilla Nunn, who also turned a double-double in her first outing.

Nunn will have to dominate inside against a formidable opponent in the post, but also against other players on a Furman team that loves to crash the boards.

Along with Nunn, the Eagles also have freshman Ezine Mbamalu, a 6’2” center who put up 20 points and five boards in her debut last Saturday.

Creating a Perimeter

If the battle can’t be won inside, then the Eagles may need to use their sharpshooters to pull out a victory.

Furman lost their highest-percentage long-range shooter last year, so the mid-to-long-range shooting of Winthrop’s Samiya Wright may be a crucial factor in this one.

The senior made all five of her shots from downtown, and had 17 points in the win over Gallaudet.

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Eagles pummel Pfeiffer

Behind a near-career day for Keon Moore, the Winthrop men’s basketball team kicked off their 2014-15 campaign in dominating fashion, defeating the Pfeiffer Falcons 85-59 on Satuday at Winthrop Coliseum.

Moore showed out early and often, providing court to court offense for the Eagles.

The redshirt senior ended his day with 25 points, two shy of his career high, and shot 70 percent from beyond the arc.

“It’s nice to win the first one. We talk to our guys all the time about the season being a marathon and not a sprint and putting all your focus and attention in each one of these games that you have to play. Learn from it. Take the positives and the negatives and then close the book and move forward to the next one,” said Winthrop head coach Pat Kelsey.

The first half started off rough for both teams, as scoring was scarce.

Moore got things going with the first Winthrop points of the season, connecting on a long-range bomb that put the Eagles ahead after an early Pfeiffer score.

The Eagles then began to dominate the game, leading by 19 at the half before extending the lead to 26 not long into the second half.

The visitors showed early in the second half, going on an 11-2 run, but could not overcome the early double-digit lead put up by the Eagles in the first half.

Senior Andre Smith also performed well, scoring 13 points and getting 8 assists. Redshirt freshman Dube Okeke was also impressive in his debut, scoring 10 points and blocking a shot.

Jarad Scott led the team in rebounds, crashing the boards 10 times.

Okeke also provided a show through dunks along with junior Tevin Prescott, who got the crowd going with this slam late in the first half.

Other freshmen made their debuts in the game as well, including Xavier Cooks and Joseph Lopez.

“I knew a lot of our younger guys, our newcomers, would be nervous,” Moore said. “But I feel like they handled themselves very well. I feel they stood up to the challenge and they’ll get better from here on out.”

The Eagles will next head to the upstate on Monday night, as they face the Clemson Tigers inside Littlejohn Coliseum at 7.

Homecoming Gallery

Erica Williams drives the ball against Gallaudet.

Lady Eagles roll past Gallaudet

The Lady Eagles beat Gallaudet University 117-43 Saturday afternoon in homecoming play.

The team dominated the game and were up 64-19 at the half.

At the half senior Samiya Wright shot five for five with 14 points. Junior Schaquilla Nunn had 24 points by the half and sophomore Erica Williams also had double digits by the half with 11 points. Winthrop shot just under 60 percent in the first half.

“I was pleased with everybody who played and everyone scored the ball.” said Winthrop head coach Kevin Cook.

“Now we will get ready for Furman on Monday night.”

The team continued to dominate the game throughout the second half, eventually winning by 74.

Schaquilla Nuun set a new Winthrop record for single points in a game with 39 points. Nunn also finished with 16 rebounds giving her a double double, nine blocks and five steals.

Wright finished with a double-double scoring 17 points and getting 11 rebounds. Williams scored 17 points and freshman Ezinne Mbamalu tallied 20 points in her Winthrop debut.

The Lady Eagles out shot Gallaudet 55 percent to 26 percent in the game.

The team will take on Furman University at Winthrop Coliseum Monday at 7 p.m.