Men's Basketball Loses at Winthrop, 74-62 in Big South Quarters
ROCK HILL, SC Top-seeded Winthrop used a 16-3 run late in the second-half to claim a 74-62 win over No. 8 seed Coastal Carolina in the first round of the 2005 Advanced Auto Parts Big South Conference Basketball Championship Tuesday night at the Winthrop Coliseum. The win extends Winthrops wining streak to 16 victories in a row, and the Eagles will host No. 4 seed Birmingham-Southern in a semifinal match-up on Thursday evening.
The game was close throughout the first 34 minutes, and the Eagles led by just five with 6:08 remaining before Big South All-Freshman Team member Chris Gaynor keyed the run with a three-pointer to put the Eagles up by eight. Baskets by Phillips Williams, First-team All-Conference performers Torrell Martin and James Shuler, and an Otis Daniels field goal pushed the lead to as many as 18 points with 1:24 remaining. Winthrop finished the game shooting 56.3 percent from the field while the Chanticleers finished the game shooting 47.8 percent after shooting 53 percent in the first half.
Shuler led the Eagles for the fourth straight game with a team-high 19 points and a game-high eight assists, in addition to his five rebounds. He was 5-of-5 from the floor in the second stanza, and has averaged 13.9 points over the past 13 games in leading the Eagles to its longest winning streak in the programs history. The Eagles (25-5) have also set a Big South Conference record for most victories in a single-season. Following Shuler on the scoring ledger for Winthrop was Gaynor, who finished with 12 points and dealt out 5 assists in 36 minutes of action. Martin added 10 points while Daniels chipped in 11.
Coastal Carolina guard and Big South Conference Freshman of the Year Jack Leasure finished the game with a career-high 25 points for the Chanticleers, including 5-of-7 shooting from behind the three-point arc the seventh time this season he tallied five three-pointers in a game. Big South Player of the Year Pele Paelay was held to 11 points on 3-of-10 shooting from the field. The Chanticleers season ends at 10-19, but was the lone Big South school to defeat Winthrop during the Conference season with a 76-68 home victory on January 5.
QUOTESGregg Marshall, WinthropUniversity
First of all, I understand theres been some upsets today and this very easily could have been an upset the way the first half was going. This is not the team that I wanted to play, I can assure you. I think Pete (Strickland) does a great job and theyre a tough team to play. I think for some reason they just give us fits. They change defenses and run some really good stuff for some really good players. In the second half (James Shuler and Chris Gaynor) really stepped it up. Were very happy with the win because all the top seeds did not win (tonight).
Pete Strickland, Coastal CarolinaUniversity
They (Winthrop) were the better team tonight. Thats for sure. I thought it was a well-played game for both teams.