Winthrop (16-1, 12-1) at Radford (13-7, 2-2)
- Time: 3PM PST | 5PM CST | 6PM EST
- Location: Dedmon Center, Radford, VA
- TV: ESPN+
First place is on the line in the Big South Conference where Winthrop and Radford meet for the next two days as the Eagles check in at 13-1 in the league while the Highlanders are 12-2.
Radford has a 42-37 lead in the series and leads 22-13 in Radford and the Highlanders’ 12-2 start in the Big South is the best in school history. The Highlanders have won four out of the last five meetings, but the Eagles have taken three of the last five in the Dedmon Center.
A really solid coaching matchup as Winthrop’s Pat Kelsey and Radford’s Mike Jones have set the pace with these two programs over the last several years as they are fifth and sixth, respectively, in total wins with 194 and 179 ‘W’s’.
Vs. The Spread
- The Eagles are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of the Eagles’ last 6 contests
- Winthrop is 1-5 ATS in the last 6 games vs. Radford
- The Highlanders check in at 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games
- The OVER has been the play in 8 of the Highlanders’ last 12 contests
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of the last 6 Eagles-Highlanders matchups
Last Time Out
Winthrop had it’s 21-game winning streak – dating back to last season – ended by UNC-Asheville, 57-55, on the second game of a back-to-back. Winthrop led 54-47 with 3:41 to play, but finished 0-4 from the field, 1-of-4 from the line and had two turnovers while UNCA ended the game on a 10-1 run. Chandler Vaudin led the Eagles with 14 points.
Radford won it’s ninth in the last 10 games as it swept USC Upstate with a 102-66 thumping of the Spartans in Radford. The Highlanders shot 52.4 percent from the field and made 13-of-29 triples. Dravon Mangum and Quinton Morton-Robertson shared game high hours with 16 points each.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Winthrop||-4 (-120)||—||O 140 (-115)|
|Radford||+4 (+100)||—||U 140 (-105)|
The pace of play will be a huge key as Winthrop’s average possession length is 14.4 seconds (4th/NCAA) while Radford is way more deliberate in using 19.6 seconds (339th/NCAA) per possession. Chandler Vaudin leads a balanced attack for the Eagles in averaging 12.6 points per game as seven Eagles check in at 12.6 and 6.1 points per game.
Winthrop also enjoyed a (+8.4) advantage on the boards overall this season and it has climbed to a (+11.5) advantage in Big South play. Adonis Arms is also very intregal in the Eagles attack as he is on the floor for 31.4 percent of the Eagles shots and is tough off the dribble. He averages 11.2 points and 5.5 boards per game in six conference road games.
Key Winthrop Stat:
Clamping down on the three-point line is a must for the Eagles as it has been interesting how the Eagles have struggled so much in Big South play as opponents shoot 36.1 percent from the floor. The Highlands only make 5.8 per game, so it is very important for the Eagles to keep this in check as Dravon Mangum, Quinton Morton-Robinson and Xavier Lipscomb all have potential for big games from the outside.
D.J. Burns has struggled from the field over his last four games, but the 6-9, 270-pound sophomore has the potential to give Winthrop a solid inside game vs. the Highlands. Burns’ numbers are down across the boards over last season, but he still shoots 55.4 percent from the field after leading the BSC in field goal percentage (58.3%) last season.
The flip side of the pace is important for Radford as one season after Carlik Jones was Big South Player of the Year, a pair of freshmen in Fah’mir Ali and Xavier Lipscomb have stabilized the position. Ali leads another balanced scoring attack with 9.7 points per contest as no Highlander averages double figures while eight RU player score between 6.1 and 9.7 points per game.
Key Radford Stat:
Valuing the ball is a must for the Highlands as Ali and Josiah Jeffers are the only two players who have more assists than turnovers. Chandler Vaudrin is a wiley 6-7 senior point guard who can control this game by forcing turnovers in the backcourt with his size and length.
Big man Lewis Djonkam (9.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg) should go at it in the paint with Burns as 6-9, 245-pound VCU transfer, shoots 62.8 percent from the field. Chyree Walker has done a solid job in the interior as well as he leads Radford in rebounding while shooting 55.8 percent. Controlling the pace and setting these two bigs up in the paint is a recipe for success for RU.
Winner: Winthrop (-4) 75, Radford 69
Over-Under: Take OVER 140