ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) -- Craig Bradshaw buried a soft hook shot
with 9.1 seconds left to help Winthrop beat Coastal Carolina 51-50
in the Big South Conference title game on Saturday to earn an
automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
It is the second straight Big South title for the Eagles (23-7)
and sixth in coach Gregg Marshall's eight years.
Coastal Carolina (20-10) had taken a 47-44 lead before James
Shuler hit a 3-pointer to tie it. Phillip Williams then added to
free throws with 56.1 seconds left to give the Eagles a 49-47 lead.
Colin Stevens, a 5-foot-9 guard who came to Coastal Carolina as
a walk-on, made a 3 with 35.1 seconds left to give the Chanticleers
a 50-49 advantage.
Winthrop then worked the clock down and got the ball to
Bradshaw, who posted up and hit the soft turnaround with just under
10 seconds left.
The Chanticleers had one last chance, but Torrell Martin tipped
the inbounds pass that was headed for Stevens. The Eagles forced a
jump ball and got possession with 2.9 seconds left before running
out the clock.
Martin led Winthrop with 10 points. Williams had eight points
and eight rebounds. Chris Gaynor scored eight points and had six
The Eagles held Jack Leasure, Coastal Carolina's top scorer at
18 points a game, to five points on 1-for-15 shooting. Stevens led
the Chanticleers with 18 points, while Pele Paelay added 12 points.
Coastal Carolina trailed 27-18 at halftime, but Paelay brought
them back after the break. He scored the first seven points of the
second half to cut Winthrop's lead to 27-25. No team would lead by
more than five the rest of the way.
Winthrop outrebounded Coastal Carolina 38-29. The Chanticleers
had pulled down more rebounds than the bigger, stronger Eagles in
their two regular season wins.
Coastal Carolina saw its 12-game winning streak snapped.
Winthrop is 0-5 in the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles were seeded
14th last year and lost to Gonzaga 74-64.