A tale of two halves, the Blue Hose outscored the Eagles 55-36 in the second half and erased an 11-point halftime deficit as the Presbyterian College men’s basketball team earned the hard-fought 99-91 win over Winthrop in Big South action Saturday afternoon at Templeton Center.
Adam Flagler led PC with 28 points, 20 of which came in the second half.
Scoring the Game
The Blue Hose were hot early, hitting a couple of three-pointers in the first three minutes to jump out to a 12-5 lead over the Eagles. Winthrop clawed back with two three-pointers and five straight from Kyle Zunic over the next two and a half minutes to cut the margin to one. A 6-2 Blue Hose run made it a five-point game, 22-17, 12:39, but it was short-lived as Winthrop responded with a 16-5 run, which included back to back three-pointers from Nyche Smith, to take its first lead of the game, 33-27, 8:41 left. The Eagles continued their hot streak, increasing the lead to 17, 48-31, 3:58 on the clock, in what turned out to be a 31-9 run, the last 10 of those in a row.
Back to back free throws by Romeo Crouch ignited an 8-3 run that cut the margin to 12. After a Winthrop three-pointer JC Younger answered with one of his own to make it an 11-point game, 53-42, just under a minute to play. Both team traded baskets down the stretch and Winthrop went into the locker room leading 55-44.
The Blue Hose scored the second half’s first four points to cut into Winthrop’s lead, 55-48, but a three-pointer by Josh Ferguson took the lead back to 10, 16:448 remaining. PC came back with seven straight, which included five from Adam Flagler, and cut into the Winthrop lead, 58-55, 14:39.
Trailing by five with just under 13 to play, Flagler hit his third three-pointer of the game, making it a one-possession game, 63-61. A three-point game with under 10 to play, Flagler hit a three, tying the game at 69-69. It was the second of five ties in a three-minute stretch, the last at 74-74 off another Flagler three at 7:57. Davon Bell gave PC its first lead, 76-74, since midway through the first half with a layup at 7:27.
Winthrop scored four unanswered and took back the lead, 78-76, but it was Younger and Lewis with back to back three-pointers to give PC a four-point, 82-78 lead, just under four to play. It was the start of a 10-0 run that saw the home team take its largest lead of the game at eight, 86-78, 2:58 left. After a basket by Michael Anumba, Flagler came right back with yet another three, propelling the Blue Hose to a nine-point lead, just over two to play.
The Eagles cut the PC lead to seven with under a minute to play, but the Blue Hose hit clutch free throws to come away with the 99-91 win.
Players of the Game
Nyche Smith hits 22 points in the first half, ending with 35 for Winthrop. Flagler hit 20 of his 28 points in the second half to lead PC with 22. Lewis posted his fourth career 20-point game with 22 points, and with his team-leading 10 rebounds he posted his first double-double. Bell hit 15 points and pulled down a career-high and PC record 15 assists for his first career double-double as well.
Stats of the Game
Both teams shot the ball well in the first half with Winthrop holding the advantage 60.6%-51.7%. The perimeter shots were key with the Eagles hitting double in the first half, 10-5. PC shot 56.7% in the second half to finish with 54.2%, and hit 13 three-pointers, eight of which came in the second half. The Eagles hit 43.3% for 52.4% from the field for the game, and ended with 14 three-pointers. PC went 22-for-33 from the charity stripe, compared to 11-of-13 for Winthrop. The Eagles edged the Blue Hose on the boards, 33-32.
Points off turnovers were important, with Winthrop turning over the ball over seven more times, 16-9, resulting in a 24-7 margin in points.
- Davon Bell’s career-high 15 assists is a PC DI record.
- Adam Flagler’s six three-pointers tied for eighth in the PC DI record book, his 11 career-high field goals made tied for ninth.
- PC 99 points were 10th in the PC DI record book, the 33 free throw attempts tied for 10th.
- Romeo Crouch’s four steals were a career-high.
- Francois Lewis pulled down a career-best 10 rebounds
- Francois Lewis recorded his first career double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds
- Davon Bell recorded his first career double-double with 18 points and 15 assists.
For the Record
PC improves to 13-10 overall and 5-3 in the Big South, while Winthrop moves to 14-7, 6-2.
The Blue Hose head too Charleston Southern Wednesday, Jan. 30, with tip-off slated for 7:30 p.m.