Talford collects career-high as Winthrop holds off Radford in defensive battle


Winthrop's Kelton Talford notched a career-high 22 in Wednesday's win over Radford. (Photo: Winthrop Athletics)



ROCK HILL, S.C. – Radford and Winthrop renewed their heated rivalry Wednesday night, doing battle for the lone time during the regular season. The visiting Highlanders had won back-to-back contests on the Winthrop Coliseum deck, along with three of their last four.


Kelton Talford helped halt the Highlanders’ streak with a career-high 22 on the night, helping guide the Eagles to a fiery second-half shooting performance that turned away Radford, 58-48.


FIRST HALF

  • Winthrop held a 4-2 lead at the first media stoppage (15:09). Eagles connected on two of the first four shots in the segments, while the Highlanders missed their first six before a Bryan Hart jumper broke the seal.

  • Radford’s Rashun Williams entered during the second segment, contributing six points in four minutes and drawing the defensive assignment of Winthrop standout Chase Claxton as the Highlanders closed to 9-8 (11:52).

  • The next two segments produced continued struggles on both ends, with Winthrop maintaining a 17-16 advantage at the under-4 media stoppage (3:29).

  • Winthrop closed the half on a 6-1 run following an Artese Stapleton free throw for the Highlanders, taking a 23-18 advantage to the interval

  • Eagles tallied .742 points per possession in the stanza, maintaining an even turnover and scoring margin (35.5 percent) on 31 trips

  • Radford scored .600 per trip in 30 treks, scoring 30 percent of the time and committing miscues on one of every five

SECOND HALF

  • Both teams knocked down three buckets early, before back-to-back Kelton Talford finishes at the tin compelled a stoppage from Darris Nichols (33-24 WIN, 16:03)

  • Talford added another dunk to equal his career-high of 17 (13:24), with a Drew Buggs turnaround jumper extending the Winthrop lead to eight with 12:24 to go

  • Radford quickly answered, unfurling a 7-0 run capped by a corner triple from Bryan Hart that knifed the Eagle lead to just one at 37-36 (10:31)

  • Chase Claxton and Talford combined for a block on a run-out at the bucket (9:49) that prevented Radford from collecting its first lead of the night

  • The Highlanders then drew level at 38 on an up-and-under look from Josiah Jeffers (9:10)

  • Cory Hightower dropped the first two Winthrop three-pointers of the night (6:42, 6:14), growing the Eagle lead to eight

  • Winthrop extended its advantage to 10 on multiple occasions, first on a Mike Anumba layup (3:59), followed by a Sin’Cere McMahon free throw (3:10)

  • Rashun Williams converted an and-one with 2:47 to play to draw the Highlanders within seven (52-45), but Radford could draw no closer

NOTABLE

  • Talford collected a career-high 22 (9-12 FG), finishing a rebound shy of a double-double

  • Winthrop shot 61 percent (14-for-23) in the second 20, countering the Highlanders’ 44.4 percent (12-for-27)

  • The teams combined to go 4-for-17 in the second half from distance (5-for-33 on the game)

  • Winthrop’s two three-pointers were its lowest total of the season (previous low was four on three occasions)

  • Rashun Williams paced the Highlanders, contributing 13 in 31 minutes off the bench; Josiah Jeffers added 10 while notching three pilfers


HUSTLE STATS Points in the paint: Winthrop 40, Radford 20

Points off turnovers: Radford 13, Winthrop 12

Second-chance points: Radford 4, Winthrop 3

Fast-break points: Winthrop 11, Radford 5


NEXT UP

Radford travels to Hampton, Va., to battle the Pirates Saturday. Game time is set for 5:30. Winthrop hosts Presbyterian Saturday afternoon, with game time at the Winthrop Coliseum slated for 4:30.

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