UNCA suffers first conference loss

By Christopher Jones – cjones5@unca.edu – Staff Writer | Jan. 21, 2015 |

The Winthrop Eagles snapped the UNC Asheville Bulldogs three game winning streak giving them their first loss in Big South Conference play with a score of 69-84.

 

“We had a good game tonight and we executed on what we practice every day to do out there,” said Keon Johnson, starting point guard of the Winthrop men’s basketball team.

 

Johnson scored 22 points and had 3 assists in the game.

 

The game was evenly matched in the first 7 minutes of the game, but after that, the Winthrop Eagles were able to build a sizable lead on a 24-4 run.

 

Early turnovers, missed shots and poor post defense by the Bulldogs caused the tide to turn in Winthrop’s favor.

 

“We just didn’t do the job tonight as a team on defense. We gave up 84 points. You’re not winning too many games giving up that many,” said Nick McDevitt, head coach of the Bulldogs.

 

The Bulldogs went into the locker room facing a 38-21 deficit at halftime.

 

The Bulldogs were able to cut the lead to 13 with 16 minutes remaining in the second half, but the Eagles were able to stop any hopes of a comeback by going on a 12-4 run.

 

Winthrop stifled the Bulldogs all night with their aggressive defense.

 

“They play a pack line defense and really get after you on the ball and man the man, and really get in gaps off the ball,” McDevitt said.

 

“Winthrop played a great game tonight. Hopefully the Bulldogs can turn it around next home game I am here,” said Keith James, a longtime fan of the Bulldogs basketball team.

 

The UNC Asheville Bulldogs host the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers Thursday, Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. in Kimmel Arena.

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