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Undefeated Winthrop overcomes Longwood upset bid, wins 72-61

longwood athleticsDespite giving undefeated Winthrop the best defensive effort it has seen this season, Longwood succumbed to the nation’s No. 12 scoring offense in the final minutes and fell 72-61 Thursday evening at Winthrop Coliseum.

Playing on ESPNU in their third televised game of the season, the Lancers (3-12, 2-7 Big South) held the unbeaten Eagles (12-0, 9-0 Big South) to their lowest scoring total of the season, but their 72 points proved to be enough as Winthrop extended its winning streak to 16 straight games dating back to the program’s 2020 Big South Championship season.

Winthrop, which entered the game receiving votes in the Associated Press Top 25, now remains one of the nation’s four unbeaten teams who have played at least 10 games this year.

Michael Anumba led the Eagles with 14 points and was one of Winthrop’s four double-digit scorers, but did so in a defensive slugfest on both ends of the court. Longwood, which entered the game ranked as the No. 3 scoring defense in the Big South, held the Eagles to 4-of-20 shooting from three-point range for their fewest made treys since the 2017-18 season.

However, Winthrop matched Longwood’s defensive effort by limiting the Lancers to a .333 (19-of-57) shooting clip from the floor and just four made treys of their own. True freshman Justin Hill led Longwood with 15 points, scoring 10 of those in the final 11:38 of the game.

The Lancers put Winthrop on upset alert midway through the first half when they opened up a 16-4 run that cut a 14-point deficit to 46-44 with 10:55 to play. Longwood held Winthrop’s high-powered offense without a field goal for more than five minutes during that stretch, forcing four turnovers and four missed shots in that 10-possession span. But Winthrop would not be held down long and broke through with seven unanswered points that sparked a 21-10 run. Anumba scored 10 points in that final game-winning rally.

Longwood and Winthrop will square off again Friday evening at 6 p.m. on ESPN+ and WVHL 92.9 FM in Farmville.


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