Winthrop tops Gardner-Webb 80-77 in OT in Big South semi
ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) Keon Johnson hit five 3-pointers and scored 31 points, Xavier Cooks grabbed 15 rebounds and scored 23 points, including a go-ahead free throw in overtime, and top-seeded Winthrop beat No. 4 seed Gardner-Webb 80-77 in a Big South Tournament semifinal Friday night.
Winthrop (25-6) will face seventh-seeded Campbell (17-16) in Sunday’s championship game.
Gardner-Webb’s Tyrell Nelson tied it with a jumper then Liam O’Reilly made two free throws for a 74-72 Bulldogs lead with 1:05 left in OT. Johnson tied it with a layup and Cooks hit two free throws for a 76-74 Winthrop lead with 25 seconds to go.
Gardner-Webb missed two shots from the floor before Nelson made 1 of 2 free throws with nine seconds left. Johnson hit two from the line for a 78-75 Winthrop lead, but GW’s Laquincy Rideau made a pair to close to 78-77 with three seconds left. Johnson iced it with two free throws and DJ Laster’s 3 at the buzzer missed.
Rideau scored a career-high 30 points for the Bulldogs (19-14) and Jamaal Robateau had 14, including a 3 to tie it at 61 at the end of regulation.