ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Austin Awad hit 6 of 9 from 3-point range and Winthrop held UNC Asheville scoreless for the final 3½ minutes as the Eagles won the Big South opener, 80-65 on Saturday afternoon.
The Eagles have now won seven straight conference openers.
Kyle Zunic’s jumper got Winthrop within one, 17-16, with under four minutes to play in the first half, but UNC Asheville closed the half on a 14-3 run fueled by three 3-pointers by Coty Jude. Awad’s 3 with :25 left stopped a string of 14 straight points by the Bulldogs.
Charles Falden hit a 3 with 13:25 left to tie the game at 39. But after LJ Thorpe hit two free throws with 3:28 left to tie at 65, Winthrop closed on a 15-0 run.
Awad made all nine of his attempts from beyond the arc and finished with 19 points for Winthrop (9-5). Falden finished with 13 points off the bench. Josh Ferguson added 10 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and Michael Anumba added nine points, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished seven assists.
Devon Baker had 23 points for the Bulldogs (2-13).