ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) — Trent Stephney had 13 points, LJ Thorpe scores all his 12 points in the second half, and UNC Asheville edged past Winthrop 57-55 on Friday night to snap the Eagle’s 21-game win streak.
Evan Clayborne added nine points, 10 rebounds and five blocks for UNC Asheville (10-9, 9-5 Big South Conference).
Winthrop (16-1, 13-1), which went into the game with the nation’s longest active win streak, lost for the first time since last Feb. 22, when Hampton beat the Eagles 87-81. They then won five in a row, capped by 76-68 victory over the Pirates in the conference championship game, before the coronavirus pandemic ended the college basketball season.
The Bulldogs, who had lost three in a row against the Eagles including an 84-80 loss on Thursday, won at Winthrop for the first time since December 31, 2011.
Chandler Vaudrin, the only Winthrop player to score in double figures, finished with 14 points.
Charles Falden missed a shot but grabbed his own rebound and his putback with 3:41 to play gave the Eagles a 54-47 lead. But from there they went 0 for 4 from the field and 1 for 4 from the free-throw line with two turnovers as Asheville scored 10 of the final 11 points.
Jamon Battle made back-to-back layups, Stephney added another following a Winthrop turnover, and Thorpe made four straight free throws to make it 57-54 with about a minute to go. Russell Jones Jr. made 1 of 2 from the foul line to pull the Eagles within two and Kelton Talford grabbed the offensive rebound. He was fouled — and injured — and Jamal King missed both free throws with two seconds to play.
Winthrop went into the game averaging a conference-best 82.9 points on 47.7% shooting from the field. The Eagles shot 22 of 69 (31.9%) from the field, 3 of 20 from 3-point range, and 8 of 14 from the free-throw line on Friday. They were held to fewer than 70 points for the first time this season.
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