Two Eagles Notch Career Highs in Winthrop Win Over Virginia Intermont

Four Hit Double Figures in Winthrop Victory

ROCK HILL, S.C. -- Two Winthrop Eagles players notched career-highs in points to join two teammates in double figures as Winthrop defeated visiting Virginia Intermont 96-62 in non-conference play.

 The Eagles (4-1) led just 19-14 at the under-12 timeout in the first half, and the Cobras (1-5) kept the game close for a lot of the first 20 minutes.  Winthrop picked up the pace as halftime approached, taking a 45-31 lead into the locker room.  One of the two Eagles to reach a career-best, freshman guard Keon Johnson, spurred the Winthrop offense in that first stanza, notching 14 of his game-high 20 points.  Johnson drilled four of his team’s six first-half three-pointers.

The aforementioned six three-pointers composed a 33.3 percent (6-for-18) first half from behind the arc for Winthrop, as the Eagles shot 50 percent (18-for-36) overall from the floor in the half.  Virginia Intermont shot just 33.3 percent (10-for-30) in the period, hitting 41.7 percent (5-for-12) of their threes.  Winthrop coach Pat Kelsey addressed the abundance of three-point attempts in the first half, saying, “The way that they were playing, they were really, really packing it in.  They went 2-3 and it was a tight 2-3, and we have very, very good three point shooters.”

Winthrop forward James Bourne came off the bench to score eight of his career-high 15 points in the first half.  Bourne hit all four of his shots in the half to provide a nice complement to the Eagles’ guard play.  Kelsey said of Bourne’s play, “We thought that we could take advantage of him close to the basket.  With James’ strength and his girth, he can really give their bigs problems.  To his credit, Tevin (Prescott) started instead of him today, and instead of hanging his head and instead of pouting, when his name was called, he ran to the scorer’s table and went in with a smile on his face, and gave us some really good minutes and 15 sorely-needed points.”

Things got a little close for comfort early in the second half for the Eagles. Virginia Intermont briefly caught fire in the first three-and-a-half minutes, riding seven points by J.D. Tucker to cut the deficit to just seven at 47-40.  Winthrop then started to take control of the game, going on a 20-7 run to take a 67-47 lead before a 30-second Virginia Intermont timeout.  The Cobras seemed to have no further answers for the Eagles, as Winthrop continued to press the tempo and run the floor.  The Eagles eventually extended their lead to 34 points with 1:12 remaining, the margin by which they won the contest.

Virginia Intermont played just eight players in the game, with three of those players scoring in double digits.  Guard Joshua Hart led the Cobras with 17 points, hitting three of his six three-point attempts.  13 of Hart’s 17 came in the first half.  Conversely, Tucker scored 13 of his 15 in the second half.  Guard Kris Harris added 12, despite being in foul trouble for much of the game.

Joining Johnson and Bourne in double figures for Winthrop were guard Andre Smith, who scored 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting (4-of-7 from three-point range) and Prescott, who added 11 points on a 5-of-7 performance from the floor.  Prescott also tied with fellow forward Josh Davenport for the team lead in rebounds, with six. 

Winthrop returns to action Wednesday night against the CAA’s James Madison at Winthrop Coliseum.  Virginia Intermont will next take the floor at Union College on Tuesday evening.