You’ve read the recap. Now, let’s go inside the numbers behind tonight’s dominant win in the Big South opener over Longwood.
- It’s tough to put things any more succinctly than did Longwood coach Griff Aldrich in his postgame remarks. The quote in the gamer told the tale, but he added a bit more context later.
“This is a ‘flush’ game … Probably the best thing to do is just to be able to erase it and play again soon. There’s probably not a whole lot we’re gonna take away from this, other than (that) we need to really compete harder and be the aggressor. I think that getting another opportunity to do that in a short turnaround will probably be a good thing.” – Aldrich
- I asked Winthrop guard Hunter Hale about his response to Aldrich’s remarks that Winthrop was the aggressor, and had out-competed the Lancers.
“That’s a really good compliment. We work really, really hard in practice. Some days, we go longer than others, but we try not to waste a day. We try to come in with the mindset of getting better. Crashing the glass, playing extremely hard on defense, and giving everything you’ve got for 49 consecutive seconds, or whatever the time is between each whistle … just doing that at a consistent pace and getting guys in there that can do the same thing, that’s kind of the way that we want to play. I guess that is a good compliment to our team.” – Hale
- Aldrich also offered a considerable amount of praise for Winthrop in his postgame remarks.
“I was really impressed … I also thought they made tough shots. They definitely had some wide open ones — how many (threes) did they make on the night, 16? It felt like 36 … I thought, especially in the first half, they made some tough shots. We call them ‘park threes’ versus ‘contested threes’. I thought Hale made — credit to him — he made some good shots. If they can play like this, they’re deep, they’re versatile … I think they have a chance (to compete for a title).” – Aldrich
- This was Longwood’s eighth game on the road of its last nine games total. Aldrich acknowledged the challenge of the stretch, without making any excuses.
“I think it’s been probably more taxing than maybe I anticipated. I think you couple that with (our) still trying to get our legs on who we are and who we want to be, and then you couple that with doing it on the road, I think that’s been a real challenge. In one sense, we’ve got one home game and then two more road, and then we start to move into an, I think, every-other (game) … I don’t wanna blame that. We’ve gotta be who we are, whether we’re at home, (at a) neutral (site), or on the road.” – Aldrich
- Longwood’s Christian Wilson played 25 minutes off the bench, contributing 25 points. I asked Aldrich about the boost Wilson provided as a reserve.
“Christian probably scored, what, close to half our points, it felt like. I think (that) one of the keys for our entire team is to be aggressive. I thought (forward) JaShaun (Smith) was aggressive, (and) I thought Christian was aggressive, but Jaylon Wilson was not tonight, and (guard) Shabooty (Phillips) really wasn’t tonight. I think it showed up.
“Christian, in the first part of the season, kind of got stuck with thinking that all he was supposed to do was (to) shoot threes, I guess, but he really has more to his game, both closer to the rim and also being able to drive the ball. He can shoot it. That would probably be the one positive from tonight, is just to see him score a little bit more. He scored some at the beginning of the season, but has really tapered off. We need scoring, so that was really helpful.” – Aldrich
- Hale scored a career-high 29 (he actually eclipsed his career-high in the first half), and didn’t seem to be aware that he’d done so when Alex Zietlow of the Rock Hill Herald asked him about it.
“I did not know (that the career-high occurred in the first half). I just tried to keep putting the basketball in the rim and get more … I just tried to keep doing what they ask me to do, and keep hitting shots and making the right play.” – Hale
- Winthrop guard Chandler Vaudrin recorded his first-ever Division 1 triple-double, following four at Division 2 Walsh two years ago. He commented to Alex after the game on the achievement.
“I try not to let it get to me, just because the most important thing is winning. All the stats will work itself out however it does. I just try and make plays for people. I’d rather have a bunch of assists than (to) score my own points. I just like getting people involved, and everybody else likes to score, so I don’t mind passing it. I just try and stay focused on the game. We work really hard in prepping for each and every game, so the little things — the little scouting things — those are way more important than anything about what goes on with the stats.” – Vaudrin
- Winthrop snatched down 19 offensive rebounds (compared to Longwood’s nine), and that number helped keep the Lancers from getting back in transition, where they are incredibly dangerous. Vaudrin opined on that success after the game.
“It’s huge. I think they were like, 11th or 12th in the country in most threes taken … We knew we had to limit their transition, and in order for them to not be able to get out in transition, you have to (get offensive rebounds). It holds them accountable, and they can’t start leaking out and getting shots early. We’re on that. We have a goal each and every game of how many offensive rebounds we want to get, and we exceeded that goal today. That’s kind of a huge thing for us.” – Vaudrin
- And finally, the Hustle Stats:
- Points in the Paint: Winthrop 26, Longwood 24
- Points off Turnovers: Winthrop 21, Longwood 10
- Second-Chance Points: Winthrop 21, Longwood 7
- Fast-Break Points: Winthrop 5, Longwood 2
- Bench Points: Longwood 43, Winthrop 23
WINTHROP 91, LONGWOOD 67
LONGWOOD (5-9, 0-1 BIG SOUTH): Cintron 1-6 0-0 2, Smith 4-9 3-4 11, Phillips 1-2 4-4 6, J. Wilson 1-7 0-0 2, Wade 0-4 3-4 3, Nkereuwem 0-0 2-4 2, C. Wilson 6-9 10-12 25, Flood 0-0 0-0 0, Bligen 2-4 4-4 8, Deng 0-0 0-2 0, Munoz 3-4 0-1 8. Totals 18-45 26-35 67.
WINTHROP (7-7, 1-0 BIG SOUTH): Ferguson 5-10 3-5 17, Claxton 2-2 0-3 4, Anumba 3-4 0-0 6, Hale 9-18 5-7 29, Vaudrin 3-11 3-5 10, Jones 0-1 0-0 0, Pupavac 0-0 0-0 0, Falden 3-9 0-2 9, King 0-4 0-0 0, Zunic 0-6 2-2 2, Burns 5-7 2-2 12, Hunter 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 30-74 15-26 91.
Halftime — Winthrop 44-31. 3-Point Goals—Longwood 5-19 (Smith 0-3, Phillips 0-1, J. Wilson 0-3, Wade 0-3, C. Wilson 3-6, Munoz 2-2), Winthrop 16-36 (Ferguson 4-7, Anumba 2-2, Hale 6-12, Vaudrin 1-4, Falden 3-5, King 0-3, Zunic 0-3). Fouled Out — NA. Rebounds — Winthrop 43 (Vaudrin 12), Longwood 39 (Smith 8). Assists —Winthrop 19 (Vaudrin 11), Longwood 6 (Wade 3). Total Fouls — Winthrop 22, Longwood 21. Technical — NA. A —1325.