Last Updated: 2017-03-06
To wrap up the regular season, the UNC Asheville Bulldogs (18-9) will travel to Winthrop Coliseum and challenge the Winthrop Eagles (19-7). Action begins at 12:00 pm ET on Saturday, Feb. 20.
The Eagles enter this game hoping for similar success after topping Coastal Carolina 79-67 on Thursday. Xavier Cooks was a key piece, recording his sixth double-double of the season with 26 points and 10 rebounds. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, are coming off a 70-61 win against Presbyterian on Thursday. Dwayne Sutton led the game in scoring by registering 23 points on 8-for-14 shooting.
Cooks has taken his game to another level over the last five games for the Eagles. During that stretch, he has averaged 18.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.8 steals, 2.2 blocks, and 2.0 three-pointers. Sutton has upped his play for the Bulldogs. In the same five-game span, he is averaging 15.4 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.6 blocks, and 1.2 three-pointers.
This showdown pits one of the nation’s top offenses against one of its elite defenses, as Winthrop currently ranks 29th in offensive efficiency and UNC Asheville is 21st in defensive efficiency.
This is the second game of the season between these two teams, with the Bulldogs winning the first matchup 85-84. Kevin Vannatta had a stellar game with 20 points, eight rebounds, six assists, two steals, one block, and two three-pointers.
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Pick: Take UNC Asheville
Both Winthrop and UNC Asheville come into the game with a record of 11-4 SU against conference foes.
The Winthrop Eagles average 72.9 possessions and 1.140 points per possession in games this season. The UNC Asheville Bulldogs average fewer possessions with 70.4, as well as fewer points per possession with 1.067.
The Winthrop Eagles have one of the best effective field goal percentages this season, ranking 14th in the country with an eFG% of 55.7%. When their opponents record a similar or higher eFG%, the UNC Asheville Bulldogs have a losing 1-4 record.
Winthrop attempts an average of 23.0 three pointers per game and UNC Asheville attempts 18.0. In games where they have 20 or more three point attempts, the Winthrop Eagles have a winning 14-6 record while the UNC Asheville Bulldogs have a 5-4 record.
UNC Asheville, the 100th-ranked team in rebounding, registers an average of 37.8 rebounds per game. Winthrop does worse, ranked 215th with 35.6.
The UNC Asheville Bulldogs rank eighth in steals this season, with an average of 9.3 per game. When the Winthrop Eagles give up at least 9 steals, they have a winning 2-1 record.