Winthrop wins Big South tournament

by | Mar 8, 2021 | Campbell, News & Features

Chandler Vaudrin handles the ball as Ricky Clemons defends.
(Photo/Tim Cowie)

ROCK HILL, SC — D.J. Burns, Jr. scored 22 points to lead top-seeded Winthrop to an 80-53 win over Campbell on Sunday in the Big South Conference men’s basketball championship game at Winthrop Coliseum.

Winthrop (23-1) made its first eight shots of the second half to break open a tight game and end Campbell’s nine-game win streak.

Kyle Zunic added 13 points for the Eagles, who shot 79 percent (19-24) in the second half, while Chandler Vaudrin added eight points, 10 rebounds and six assists for the Eagles, who claimed a second-straight Big South title.

Jordan Whitfield led third-seeded Campbell (17-10) with 18 points; Ricky Clemons added 10 and Joshua Lusane had nine for the Camels, who had not lost since Jan. 20.

Whitfield’s bucket in the lane brought the Camels within 28-26 with 1:23 to play in the first half. However, Burns converted on two consecutive trips to give the Eagles a 32-26 edge at the break.

A 6-foot-9, 275-pound redshirt sophomore, Burns finished 11-of-12 from the floor in 22 minutes, while Zunic was 5-of-6, including 3-of-4 threes. Burns and Charles Falden joined Vaudrin, who was named MVP, on the all-tournament team. Whitfield and Clemons represented the Camels on the all-tourney squad.

Whitfield averaged 15.7 points in the tourney, while Clemons, who scored a career-high 19 in Thursday’s semifinal win at Radford, averaged 12.7 over three contests.

Winthrop shot 62.7 percent (32-51) on the day, made 7-of-17 (.412) threes, and 9-of-10 from the line while finishing with a 32-20 edge on the boards. Campbell made 21-51 from the floor (.412), but just 3-of-19 threes and 8-of-16 from the line.

The loss ended CU’s longest winning streak in the program’s Division I era (since ’77-78). CU’s .630 winning percentage is the program’s highest in 11 years.

(Campbell media services provided the basis for this report)

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