JACKSON, Miss. (AP)—Dwayne Curtis had 22 points and 10 rebounds and David Huertas hit back-to-back 3-pointers to start a game-changing run as Mississippi beat Winthrop 76-71 Thursday.
Curtis, the tallest player on the court at 6-foot-8, hit two key jumpers in the final 5:07 to end two short Winthrop rallies and Trevor Gaskins helped the Rebels (8-0) remain undefeated and off to their best start since the 2000-01 season with a game-clinching 3-pointer late.
The Eagles (5-4), who were led by Antwon Harris’ 17 points, led by as much six in the first half and built a 46-39 lead after a 13-4 run to start the second half. But Huertas ended that run when he hit 3-pointers from the same spot on the right wing just 23 seconds apart to cut Winthrop’s lead to 46-45 with 15:74 remaining.
That started a 20-8 run that included five points from Chris Warren, who finished with 10 points and five assists.
The Eagles, three-time Big South champions looking for another win over a major conference team after upsetting Georgia Tech earlier this season, remained in the game till the final 2 minutes.
Chris Gaynor hit a 3-pointer to pull the Eagles within 69-67 with 3:33 to go, but Gaskins hit a 3-pointer from the right wing with 2:12 left to seal the win.
Taj McCullough had 13 points and seven rebounds for the Eagles, while Gaynor and Michael Jenkins added 12.
Gaskins scored 10 for the Rebels, who are three wins away from matching their 11-0 start in 2000-01.