Winthrop holds off Liberty 65-63

The Associated Press

ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) Joab Jerome knocked down a jumper with 1:24 left that would hold as the game-winner, and the Winthrop defense completely shut down Liberty from there to hold on to a 65-63 win on Thursday night.

The Eagles couldn't get more of a two-point cushion in the game's final 5 1/2 minutes, but wouldn't need to after Jerome's big shot gave them the final margin. Winthrop's defense forced three missed Flames shots, two mid-range jumpers and a 3-ball, in the final 1:07 of the contest to hold on to the victory.

Liberty led by just two points at halftime, but Winthrop outscored the Flames 32-28 to seal it in the second half.

Reggie Middleton led the Eagles (9-13, 6-5 Big South Conference) with 20 points. George Valentine double-doubled, scoring 12 points and grabbing 14 boards.

Antwan Burrus and David Minaya had 13 points each to lead Liberty (7-15, 2-8).