Gardner-Webb, Winthrop meet in Big South semis
Gardner-Webb (16-15, 12-7) vs. Winthrop (22-10, 16-3)
Big South Conference Tourney Semifinals, Dedmon Center, Radford, Virginia; Friday, 6 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: A spot in the Big South championship game is on the line as Gardner-Webb and Winthrop are set to face off. The teams split the regular season series at one win apiece. The teams last played each other on Feb. 13, when the Runnin’ Bulldogs outshot Winthrop from the field 50 percent to 40.3 percent and recorded 11 fewer turnovers en route to a 74-70 victory.
VETERAN PRESENCE: Each of these teams has relied heavily on their seniors this year. Chandler Vaudrin, Hunter Hale and Josh Ferguson have collectively accounted for 41 percent of Winthrop’s scoring this season and 46 percent of the team’s points over its last five games. For Gardner-Webb, Eric Jamison Jr., Nate Johnson and Jaheam Cornwall have scored 55 percent of the team’s points this season, including 72 percent of all Runnin’ Bulldogs points over their last five.EFFICIENT ERIC: Jamison has connected on 35.7 percent of the 56 3-pointers he’s attempted and has gone 4 for 10 over the last three games. He’s also converted 67.9 percent of his free throws this season.
WINLESS WHEN: Gardner-Webb is 0-9 when scoring fewer than 64 points and 16-6 when scoring at least 64.
ASSIST DISTRIBUTION: The Eagles have recently converted buckets via assists more often than the Runnin’ Bulldogs. Winthrop has an assist on 56 of 101 field goals (55.4 percent) over its past three games while Gardner-Webb has assists on 39 of 83 field goals (47 percent) during its past three games.
DID YOU KNOW: Winthrop is ranked fifth among all Division I teams with an average of 81.6 points per game. The Eagles have averaged 90 points per game over their last five games.