ROCK HILL, S.C. - Georgia Southern women's basketball picked up the first win of the Anita Howard era on Tuesday evening with a convincing 91-47 victory over host Winthrop at Winthrop Coliseum in Rock Hill, S.C.
The 44-point win was the largest road win for Georgia Southern women's basketball in nearly 30 years - it was the biggest road win since a 106-44 victory at Charleston Southern on Dec. 9, 1991. The Eagles improved to 1-4 on the season, while the Winthrop Eagles fell to 1-4.
A jumper by Hailey Dias-Allen kick started a 19-6 run that closed out the first quarter for Georgia Southern, then the Eagles outpointed Winthrop 27-10 in the second quarter as Amira Atwater's buzzer-beating 30-foot three-pointer capped a half that ended with Georgia Southern holding a 51-22 advantage.
Five Georgia Southern players reached double figures on the night, led by Alexis Brown's 20 points. She now needs just 10 points to become the 24th GS women's basketball player to reach 1,000 career points. Tatum Barber added 15 points, while Hailey Dias-Allen chipped in 13 points, Jaiden Hamilton hit for 12 points and Nikki McDonald also added 12.
Eagle of the Game
Grad transfer Nikki McDonald collected her first double-double as an Eagle with 12 points and 13 rebounds in 24 minutes of action. She hit 5-of-8 shots from the field and sparked an effort on the boards that saw GS outrebound Winthrop 49-31.
Freshman Jaiden Hamilton came off the bench to hit three three-pointers in a five-minute stretch between the end of the first quarter and the second quarter. Her last one midway through the second quarter gave GS a 21-point lead, 35-14, and Winthrop would get no closer the rest of the way.
Stat of the Game
The rebounding effort led to a dominating 27-5 edge in second chance points for Georgia Southern against Winthrop.
Head coach Anita Howard on the first win in her Georgia Southern career
"That's a beautiful Thanksgiving feast right there! I'm blessed. I'm honored. I knew we could do it. To do this on the road against a good Winthrop team, I'm really proud of our girls and I hope we come back after the break and pick up right where we left off."
On the effort from the post players and team scoring
"One of the things we knew we were going to have to do, we were going to have to win the rebound war. We had 19 off rebounds and 49 overall, and that's what we focused on because we knew we were so small. Hats off to our ladies. This is something we needed to see, because we scored in numbers. It just wasn't one person or two people. It was a team win, and that's what makes it so sweet."
Nikki McDonald on the victory
"It's good to get a win on the road. We knew we had to come out and play as a team, play together and I feel like that's what we did. We competed well."
The Eagles return to the state of South Carolina on Sunday, December 1, taking on Wofford at 2 p.m. in Spartanburg.