BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. -- Senior Xavier Cooks poured in a career-high 36 points and added season highs of 16 rebounds and six blocked shots to power Winthrop to a 90-71 victory over Gardner-Webb on Thursday night.
Winthrop's fourth straight win lifted it into a first-place tie in the Big South Conference with UNC Asheville, which lost in overtime to Liberty on Thursday.
Cooks buried 14 of his 23 shots from the floor, including 4 of 8 from 3-point range, and added three assists and three steals for the Eagles (17-9, 11-4). Josh Ferguson hit 9 of 11 free throws and scored 19, Anders Broman had 15 points and four assists and junior Adam Pickett notched the first double-double of his career with 13 points and 10 boards.
Winthrop outscored the Bulldogs (12-16, 7-8) by 13 at the free-throw line and had 19 more attempts. The Eagles won the rebound battle 46-31 and held Gardner-Webb to 23 percent shooting (5 of 22) from 3-point range.
Mitchell, No. 16 Clemson top Akron in Cayman Islands Classic
Shelton Mitchell scored 22 points with four steals, Elijah Thomas had 15 points and 12 rebounds and No. 16 Clemson beat Akron 72-69 on Monday in the first game of the Cayman Islands Classic.
Reed knocks down 3 to extend Clemson's lead
Marcquise Reed makes a deep three-pointer to give Clemson an 11-point lead over Akron.
Sayles dunk keeps Akron close
Jaden Sayles hangs on the rim after a dunk that keeps Akron in the game against Clemson.