<
>

Winthrop 79, N.C.-Asheville 60

ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) -- Craig Bradshaw scored 23 points and had nine rebounds to lead Winthrop to a 79-60 win over North Carolina-Asheville on Thursday night in the semifinals of the Big South tournament.

The top-seeded Eagles (27-4) have won their last 17 games and 22 in a row at home. They will host No. 6 seed VMI on Saturday in the championship game with a bid to the NCAA tournament at stake. Winthrop has won the Big South title in six of the past eight seasons.

Winthrop led 40-37 with 17 minutes to go after Bryan Smithson's dunk for the Bulldogs (12-19).

The Eagles then went on a 21-5 over the next eight minutes, taking a 61-42 lead on a putback by Torrell Martin. Winthrop would lead by at least 14 points the rest of the way.

The Eagles outrebounded Asheville 43-27. They beat the Bulldogs by 19 points in each of their three games this season and will try Saturday to become the first Big South team to go through the league without a loss.

K.J. Garland scored 21 points and had six rebounds to lead Asheville, while Smithson added 15 points.

Michael Jenkins scored 13 points and Antwon Harris added 12 points and nine rebounds.