Longwood earns historic 1st Big South win

ROCK HILL, SC (WWBT) - Freshman Michael Kessens scored 15 points, redshirt-sophomore Jeylani Dublin and Cosby product David Robinson each scored 13 points and junior T.T. Carey scored 12 points to lead Longwood University to its first-ever Big South Conference men's basketball victory, 62-56, Saturday at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina.  The Lancers (4-21, 1-10 Big South) outscored the Eagles (10-13, 4-7 Big South) 6-1 over the final 2:37, including two free throws each from Dublin and Carey to secure their first league triumph.  Gideon Gamble scored a game-high 18 points, off the bench, to lead the hosts of the South Division.  Longwood will play again on Wednesday night, February 13, hosting North Division opponent High Point University at Willett Hall in Farmville.

Longwood started well at Winthrop, taking an early 7-2 lead at 17:27 after a jumper by Robinson, a three-point field goal from freshman Lucas Woodhouse and a basket by Dublin.  The Eagles, however, responded with a 15-2 run to take a 17-9 advantage at 8:14 with points from five different players, including four points each by Joab Jerome and James Bourne.  The Lancers, specifically Robinson, answered with six-straight points on consecutive three-pointers, to make it 17-15 at 7:07.  A three-pointer by Andre Smith made it 20-15 at 6:40, but LU battled back with a 7-1 spurt to go back in front 22-21 with 2:47 left in the half, taking the lead on a layup from Kessens that followed a jumper by Woodhouse and another three-pointer from Robinson.  It was tied at the intermission, 27-27, after Carey scored the final five points for the Lancers, and Gamble score the last four points for WU.  Robinson had 11 first-half points to lead the visitors, while Gamble had seven points at the break for the hosts.

Longwood began the second half like it started the contest, taking a 34-29 lead with 16:57 remaining behind seven quick points by Kessens, including an old-fashioned three-point play.  Winthrop again rallied back and tied the contest at 36-36 with 14:35 to play, as Gamble scored five quick points, including a three-pointer.  The Lancers, though, took the lead for good at 13:57 on a steal and layup from Carey, and maintained a lead for the remainder of the game.  LU was in front 46-41 at 10:04 on a jumper by freshman Karl Ziegler, and had its largest lead at 54-47 with 6:07 on the clock following a three-pointer from Carey.  The Eagles closed to within 56-55 at 3:04 after a basket by Jerome, but Longwood would secure its first conference win by outscoring WU 6-1 over the final 2:37.  Dublin made two free throws at that point (2:37) to make it 58-55, and a driving layup by Woodhouse made it 60-55 with 56-seconds to go.  Smith made 1-2 free throws at 0:08.1, before Carey made the final two free throws with 6.4-seconds left.

Kessens led Longwood with his team-high 15 points, adding five rebounds.  Dublin and Robinson each had 13 points, with Robinson making 3-3 three-pointers and adding five rebounds.  Carey finished with 12 points, a game-high seven rebounds, four assists and two steals.  Woodhouse contributed seven points, five rebounds, a game-high seven assists and two steals.  LU shot 50% (25-50) from the field, including 61% (14-23) in the decisive second half, 43% (6-14) on three-pointers and 75% (6-8) at the free throw line.  The Lancers forced 15 turnovers that they converted into 20 points, and had a 24-20 edge in points scored in the paint.

Gamble led Winthrop with his game-high 18 points, off the bench, making 3-7 three-pointers.  Jerome had 14 points and five rebounds for the Eagles.  WU shot 42% (20-48) from the field, including 24% (6-25) on three-pointers and 71% (10-14) at the line.

Longwood and Winthrop were playing for only the third time, and for the first time since 1986, as the Lancers lead the series, 2-1.

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