Category Archives: Sports

Winthrop related sports stories.

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

MBB_PU@WU_11.15.14_WebFeatured_KeonMoore

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.

MBB_PU@WU_11.15.14_WebFeatured_KeonMoore

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.

Photo by Jacob Hallex

Transitions paying off for Thorsson

Hailing from Reykjavik, Iceland, Magnus Thorsson will finish his Bachelor of Economics in three years. The midfielder will graduate in May and plans to complete his Master of Business Administration at Winthrop, so he can play for a fourth year on the soccer team.

Thorsson said he has had a great experience being on the team and playing with guys from all over the world.

“It’s been a real experience–great team chemistry, and it’s been great playing with them,” he said. “I’ll never forget this experience I’ve had here.”

Thorsson was made captain of the team his sophomore year.

“Being a foreigner and being captain, not able to speak in my native language has been a real challenge for me, but I’ve enjoyed it,” he said.

In Iceland, soccer and handball are the two most popular sports.

He began playing soccer when he was 5 years old at Club Valur.

“There I played with all my friends from school. [We] were on the same team together,” Thorsson said.

He played with the senior team, before he decided to move to the U.S.

“I thought it would be a great opportunity to be able to play all year long… and to play on real grass all year round. And that was really exciting for me,” he said with a laugh.

After completing his masters, he thinks he might stay in the U.S., but “in the end, I know I will go back to Iceland.”

The transition from Iceland to the U.S. was challenging but having the soccer team by his side, Thorsson made the transition.

It was difficult for him to leave his family and girlfriend of five years, but his girlfriend also transferred to Winthrop, making the transition easier.

One of the challenges student athletes face is time management between school work, practices and games, but Thorsson said he has not had much trouble meeting that challenge.

“I don’t know what’s like just being a student. It’s different from back home; the schools don’t have athletes. It’s just clubs…” Thorsson said.

Thorsson’s mantra for getting through tough times is to remember that what’s done is done and to focus in doing better in the future.

“You can’t dwell on the past, because it’s already done,” he said.

Thorsson also said it’s important to be open to new experiences, such as coming to the U.S. and taking everything in.

“I’m not going to have this time again, so I’m just taking it in,” he said.

Thorsson has been ranked the 7th best player in the Big South Conference, according to TopDrawerSoccer.com’s top 20 list.

The midfielder has six goals on the year, two assists and 14 points total.

Thorsson and the men’s soccer team will travel to Greensboro, North Carolina Friday to take on top-seeded Radford in the semifinals of the Big South Tournament.

Max Hasenstab celebrates after scoring his first of three goals against Liberty. The Winthrop win secures a trip to Greensboro and a place in the Big South Semi-finals. Photo by Jacob Hallex

Hasenstab hat trick lifts men’s soccer to Big South Semifinals

Sophomore Max Hasenstab connected on three goals, including two in the second half, to send the Winthrop men’s soccer team back to the Big South Tournament semifinals for the first time since the 2012 season.

The Eagles won 4-1 in the quarterfinal game against the Liberty Flames, marking the final game this year for the team at Eagle Field.

Hasenstab’s first goal came on a breakaway chance late in the first half, as Pol Sole found him open on a pass down the middle and the sophomore found the back of the net to give Winthrop a 1-0 lead at the half.

Not long into the second half, Hasenstab struck again on another breakaway chance in the 54th after getting a cross from Sam Schmidt. The third goal was earned after he got the better end of a one-on-one situation in the 67th minute, and all but sealed the win for the home team.

The Flames responded with a goal of their own in the 74th minute, but Winthrop sealed the deal when Magnus Thorsson found the back of the net after the ball came loose on a corner kick play in the 85th minute.

The Eagles primarily used ball control to get the win, keeping the ball out of their end of the field for the most part while also keeping it out of Liberty’s grasp.

Winthrop also was able to generate offensive chances as the game went on, gaining a 12-8 shot advantage.

Goalkeeper Fabian Broich had to make just one save for the Eagles despite playing the full 90 minutes.

Winthrop will now travel to Greensboro, North Carolina for the semifinals of the tournament, as they will the top-seeded Radford Highlanders on Friday at 5 p.m.

The Eagles last faced the Highlanders nearly one week ago, and won that game 1-0 in Radford on Nov. 5.

Max Hasenstab celebrates after scoring his first of three goals against Liberty. The Winthrop win secures a trip to Greensboro and a place in the Big South Semi-finals. Photo by Jacob Hallex
Max Hasenstab celebrates after scoring his first of three goals against Liberty. The Winthrop win secures a trip to Greensboro and a place in the Big South Semi-finals. Photo by Jacob Hallex

 

Photo by Jacob Hallex
Photo by Jacob Hallex

 

Photo by Jacob Hallex
Photo by Jacob Hallex

 

Photo by Jacob Hallex
Photo by Jacob Hallex

 

Photo by Jacob Hallex
Photo by Jacob Hallex

 

Photo by Jacob Hallex
Photo by Jacob Hallex

 

Photo by Jacob Hallex
Photo by Jacob Hallex