Cooks leads Winthrop past Gardner-Webb, 77-71

ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) Xavier Cooks scored 23 points with 10 rebounds and four assists and Winthrop defeated Gardner-Webb 77-71 on Saturday.

Keon Johnson, honored before the game for becoming Winthrop's all-time leading scorer in the Eagles' previous game, scored 15 points, though he was only 2-of-19 shooting while making 11 of 12 free throws, including four in the final minute to help hold off the Runnin' Bulldogs (14-13, 7-7 Big South). Roderick Perkins added 10 points for the Eagles (19-6, 11-3).

A layup by David Efianayi lifted the Bulldogs into a 54-all tie but Gardner-Webb then went nearly 10 minutes without a field goal. Winthrop led by seven before LaQuincy Rideau ended the drought with a basket. Gardner-Webb got within two with 2:50 remaining but Anders Broman hit a 3-pointer for a 72-68 lead and Johnson made his free throws down the stretch.

Efianayi led the Bulldogs with 13 points and eight rebounds.