Winthrop Eagles gets automatic bid to NCAA by winning Big South Conference Tournament; runs Campbell off court, 80-53

 3/7/2021

Rock Hill, S.C. –D.J. Burns Jr. scored a game-high 22 points on 11-of-12 shooting to help Winthrop to an 80-53 victory in the 2021 Hercules Tires Big South Conference Championship match, Sunday afternoon inside the Winthrop Coliseum.

The Eagles have now won back-to-back championships and the 13th conference tournament championship in program history.
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WINTHROP (23-1)
TOP CONTRIBUTORS

CAMPBELL (15-10)
TOP CONTRIBUTORS

  • Jordan Whitfield (18 points, 2 rebounds, 3 steals)
  • Ricky Clemons (10 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal)
  • Joshua Lusane (9 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 1 steal)

FIRST HALF

  • Ricky Clemons opened the scoring in the game with a little jumper in the lane
  • Eagles responded as Charles Falden drilled a three after a couple of ball fakes
  • Following a Campbell miss, Kyle Zunic dropped in a three for an early 6-2 lead
  • With the game tied 10-10 with 14:46 left the Eagles scored six straight points and a few minutes later pushed the lead to eight points on a D.J. Burns Jr. jumper
  • Jordan Whitfield and Clemons hit jumpers to cut the deficit in half with 6:29 to play in the half
  • The Eagles pushed their lead to eight points again after Russell Jones Jr. scored off the drive
  • Camels answered with an 8-2 run as Whitfield scored four of the points including a layup off a steal as he jumped a passing lane in the back court and scored to make it a two point game
  • It was a two point game with 1:23 left but the Eagles scored the final four points for a 32-26 lead t the break as all four points came off jumpers by Burns Jr.
  • Winthrop shot 48 percent in the half while Campbell shot 37 percent

SECOND HALF

  • Winthrop opened the second half on a 12-5 run over the first five minutes for a 44-31 lead
  • Michael Anumba scored inside off a feed from Zunic to get it started
  • Chandler Vaudrin drove across the lane and finished a layup with his left hand to put the Eagles up nine and then Burns Jr. hit a jumper for the first double-figure lead of the game
  • The lead grew to 16 points after Burns Jr. spun off his defender on the baseline and finished with a dunk
  • After an offensive foul on Clemons on the other end, Vaudrin found Anumba open on the wing for three and a 49-33 lead
  • The Eagles were relentless on offense as Zunic hit back-to-back threes and then Chase Claxton finished with a dunk as the Eagles led by 21 points (57-36)
  • Eagles shot 79 percent in the half and Campbell shot 46 percent

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

  • Winthrop shot 63 percent for the game, a Big South Finals record
  • Campbell finished the game at 41 percent and just 3-of-19 from three
  • Eagles finished with 42 points in the paint as Campbell had 32
  • Rebounding advantage favored Winthrop 32-20 as both teams combined for just five offensive boards
  • Burns Jr. finished 11-of-12 from the floor to lead all scorers with 22 points
  • Zunic joined Burns Jr. in double-figures with 13 points as he was 3-for-4 behind the arc
  • Whitfield led the Camels with 18 points while Clemons added 10 points

NOTABLES

  • Burns Jr. was voted to the All-Tournament Team and was joined by teammate and MVP Chandler Vaudrin as well as Charles Falden
  • Winthrop reached 22 wins for the 10th time in program history and 4th time under Pat Kelsey
  • Winthrop earns its 12th bid to the NCAA Tournament
  • The win gives Kelsey 186 career victories, which ranks 4th place in Big South history
  • Winthrop is now 43-4 in its last 47 games
  • Eagles have now won six straight conference tournament games and are 53-23 all-time and 18-6 under Kelsey
  • It was the 7th straight win over Campbell for the Eagles
  • The 79 percent shooting in the second half was a program record for either half, breaking the old mark of 78 percent set on Mar. 2, 1989 vs. Charleston Southern
  • Winthrop has now won three of the last five Big South Championships

To keep up with the latest news on the Winthrop men’s basketball program, follow the Eagles on Twitter (@Winthrop_MBB), Instagram (@Winthrop_MBB) and Facebook (/WinthropEagles).  

COURTESY WINTHROP ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

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