Winthrop cruises to Big South title, automatic NCAA bid

Winthrop cruises to Big South title, automatic NCAA bid
Winthrop cruises to Big South title, automatic NCAA bid (Source: Nate Wimberly/WBTV)

ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) - D.J. Burns scored 22 points and Winthrop took off in the second half to an 80-53 victory over Campbell on Sunday for its second straight Big South tournament championship and automatic NCAA Tournament bid.

Burns finished the first half with consecutive baskets for a six-point lead and the Eagles (23-1) made their first eight shots of the second half in running away from Campbell for their 13th championship in 17 title-game appearances. They will be making their 11th NCAA Tournament appearance.

By the time the top-seeded Eagles missed a shot in the second half they led 36-21. The blazing shooting continued as the lead reached a high of 31 and they eased to their seventh straight win during a season when they had a 21-game win streak before a two-point loss to UNC Asheville. They are 43-4 in their last 47 games.

Winthrop won the tournament title last year only to see their NCAA Tournament bid dissolve with the COVID-19 crisis.

Jordan Whitfield scored 18 points and Ricky Clemons 10 for Campbell.

Winthrop won its three tournament games by an average of nearly 26 points.

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