Antwon Ferrell drove the baseline, was slapped on the forearms, and still fueled by a reverse layup. Bucket. And an. Good free throw. 26-26.
Winthrop panics: get involved.
Yes, the Eagles ended up defeating Carver College, 83-52, in their very first game at the state-of-the-art Rock Hill Sports and Events Center. The match was part of the first No Room For Racism Classic which ends Sunday with a clash between South Carolina and Florida State which will air on ESPN2.
And of course, Winthrop didn’t have a few regulars in his lineup: Perimeter defender Stalwart Chase Claxton was in a boot on his left foot. Junior red shirt forward Cory Hightower didn’t dress up either.
And fair, the Eagles saw an outstanding performance from Josh Corbin, a starter to start the year who averages just four minutes in the last three games before Saturday and did not play in Winthrop’s recent victory. against Furman. The sophomore in the red shirt scored 19 points in 28 minutes.
But the story on Saturday night was that Winthrop – a team slated for the 2022 NCAA Tournament – made what should have been a game a little stressful.
Have head coach Mark Prosser and Corbin ever hit the panic button? No, they said after the game.
“I don’t think you can underestimate how hard the teams are going to play,” head coach Mark Prosser told reporters after the game. “I give (Carver) a lot of credit, they played two games in the last three nights before tonight. They still do. We knew it. When we scheduled the game and watched the movie, we knew they were going to play really hard. They are well supervised. Their children play with a lot of confidence.
“So when teams do that, you can’t be surprised if the teams are right for them. “
What is Carver College?
Carver College is a school that plays an independent program that technically resides in the National Christian College Athletic Association. It is a private Bible college located in Atlanta and was established in 1943 as the “Carver Bible Institute” before being renamed in 2009.
Carver, a historically black college, has a total enrollment of 37 undergraduate students, per niche.com.
The Cougars have a humble basketball history – one riddled with huge losses, but one that has sparked national astonishment and intrigue. Last year the Associated Press published a column calling Carver College “the college basketball equivalent of the Washington Generals, moving from town to town, playing games almost every night, enduring one huge beating after another.
This year, Carver College opened the year by facing Xavier (lost 94-31). The Cougars also faced Troy (loss 104-42), Gardner-Webb (loss 100-38), McNeese State (98-54) and even North Carolina Central Thursday (102-50).
Through ProBallers, the Cougars started 0-14 on Saturday night, averaging 47.3 points and 102.7 points per game. And those stats were blunted but were ultimately predictive of Saturday’s outcome.
How did the Eagles fight?
The impetus behind the Eagles’ struggles – at least early? Hard to say.
Saturday night was generally riddled with turnovers and marked by a sluggish attack. (At one point in the second half, Carver and Winthrop combined for 2 of their last 17 shots.)
The Eagles finished 45% from the field and spat 17 turnovers.
They shot 32 three and only hit 10 (31.3%).
It also didn’t help that Winthrop’s big man DJ Burns, the tactical advantage that Winthrop can boast in contests like this, was overpowered with a double and sometimes triple squad every time. he was touching the ball. (Example: The big man lost 30 in 22 minutes in the team’s season opener against Division III Mary Baldwin and gave Winthrop a lead he wouldn’t give up. Saturday? Burns had 14 points – a few points below his season average of 16.2 points per game – and nine rebounds.)
▪ Russell Jones Jr. made his first start of the season on Saturday. Apart from him, the rest of the starting XI remained intact: DJ Burns, Pat Good, Mike Anumba, Drew Buggs.
▪ Jamal King, a player who featured prominently in the teams’ rotation for the 23-2 NCAA tournament last year, but hasn’t played much this year, was part of the team’s first replacement. He finished with four points in 19 minutes, including an emphatic fastbreak dunk. Sniper and former Winthrop starter Corbin also played early and often too, as mentioned above. Nate buss entered the game at 3:46 and didn’t disappoint: the senior hit a three – and returned to defense to the crowd’s chants of “MVP” afterwards – and also made 3 of 3 free throws to finish with six points in three minutes (both career highs).
▪ Kelton Talford notched a career-high 16 points in 19 minutes.
▪ Saturday night provided a reprieve on a loaded no-conference roster for Winthrop – one that featured a historic victory over Washington and other promising displays against Hartford, Coastal Carolina, Furman and Washington State.
Who will the Eagles play next?
Winthrop plays against Elon on Wednesday in Elon. You can listen to the game on the radio on 94.3 FM or ESPN + with a valid subscription.
This story was originally published December 11, 2021 8:59 pm.