Winthrop alone in first after 81-80 win over Asheville
ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) — Jimmy Gavin scored 26 points and made a steal at the end, and Winthrop held off UNC Asheville 81-80 on Saturday to break a first-place tie with the Bulldogs in the Big South Conference.
The victory gave the Eagles (20-7, 12-4) a season sweep of the Bulldogs (18-10, 11-5) plus a one-game lead with two regular-season contests to go.
Keon Johnson’s basket with 11 seconds left gave the Eagles an 81-77 lead. Asheville’s Kevin Vannatta hit a 3-pointer with six seconds left, and teammate Dwayne Sutton then stole the ball but Gavin stole it back.
Xavier Cooks added 15 points and nine rebounds and Johnson 14 points for Winthrop, which was 10 of 24 from the arc.
Vannatta scored 21 points, Sam Hughes and Dylan Smith 13 apiece and Ahmad Thomas had 11 points and 11 rebounds for Asheville.
Winthrop led the entire second half and was up 13 with 10:15 remaining.