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.
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
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
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
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.