Home Massie, Christmas have big nights for Longwood in 84-74 win over Winthrop
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Massie, Christmas have big nights for Longwood in 84-74 win over Winthrop

Chris Graham
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Johnathan Massie poured in 31 points to lead Longwood to an 84-74 win over Winthrop on Saturday.

Massie seemingly couldn’t miss from anywhere and did only miss twice all night. He was 8-of-9 from the floor, 3-of-3 from three – including a halfcourt shot at the half – and 12-of-13 from the foul line.

In the process, he helped Longwood (15-11, 3-8 Big South) fend off Winthrop (15-11, 6-5 Big South) and snap a four-game skid in the process.

He became the first Lancer to score 30 or more since Isaiah Walton had 30 at Winthrop on January 16, 2019. in a Longwood win.

Michael Christmas had a big night as well, finishing with 25 points and five makes from three.

Winthrop was led by 20 points from Kasen Harrison as four players finished in double figures.

Between Massie and Christmas, along with five assists by Walyn Napper, the Lancers kept Winthrop at bay in the first half. While the Eagles took 18 foul shots, Massie muscled home 18 points, and Christmas added 12, as part of a Lancer offense that shot 57 percent from the floor and 58 percent from three.

To cap it off, Massie banked home a halfcourt heave for a 42-28 advantage at the break.

After halftime, Longwood extended the lead to as much as 19 despite battling foul trouble. Winthrop attempted a season-high 42 free throws in the game, but Longwood had the counterpunch every time Winthrop seemed like it would go on a run.

Many times, Massie had a hand in it. As aggressive as he was as a shotmaker in the first half, he was equally strong from the foul line in the second. He went 11-of-12 at the charity stripe in the final 20 minutes.

Christmas also served as a stopped with three of his five triples in the final 20 minutes, and he served up the dagger with 1:17 to play.

Winthrop had slowly whittled the Longwood lead to five, 78-73, but the Lancers broke the press. Massie flew up the court, and Christmas was all alone for a rim-rattling slam and an 80-73 lead.

Longwood hit free throws to close the game out.

“It was a great win for us,” Longwood coach Griff Aldrich said. “Obviously, the conference slate has been a real challenge. We’ve had a lot of games where they’ve been close, and we haven’t finished them. Thankfully, we had a big enough margin there to withstand their end game run. This was a big win for us. I’ve been so proud of our guys. Their approach has been phenomenal. We talk about it a lot. It’s easy to be a champion and have a great attitude and compete when everything’s going your way. It’s hard to do that when things aren’t going your way. And that’s the true test of a champion and the true test of character. I think our guys have done that. And because they’ve done that, they’ve put themselves in a position to get better and be playing well.”

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].