Winthrop will begin its Thanksgiving week traveling to Pullman, Wash., to play Washington State on Monday night, less than 48 hours after finishing its game at Vanderbilt about 2,200 miles away in Nashville, Tenn.
The Eagles (2-2) lost to Vanderbilt 77-63 on Saturday night, committing 19 total turnovers and shooting 36.7 percent from the field in the second half after the Commodores led by only three points at halftime.
Winthrop reportedly received $85,000 from Vanderbilt for playing the Commodores. The Eagles, who will spend Thanksgiving week in the state of Washington, will earn $90,000 from Washington State and $100,000 from Washington when they play at Seattle on Saturday.
Playing Power Five programs will also benefit Winthrop, of the Big South Conference, on the court.
“I expect us to, you know, win games,” said guard Russell Jones Jr., who was with the Eagles when they upset Saint Mary’s on the road in 2019. “If we drop one, I don’t want the fans to get deterred because we’re a good team.”
Washington State (4-0) has prepared for Winthrop since winning 109-61 at Idaho on Thursday, which increased the Cougars’ winning streak against nonconference teams to 17 games dating to the 2019-20 season.
Washington State is shooting 49.8 percent from the field and is outrebounding opponents by an average of 41.0 to 31.0.
Efe Abogidi is shooting 66.7 percent from the field and averaging 10.3 points and 5.5 rebounds a game.
Mouhamed Gueye is making 57.7 percent of his shots and scoring 9.3 points a game while posting 4.8 rebounds per contest.
“I’m being more physical and taking more time when I get the ball,” said Gueye, who is coming off scoring 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting against Idaho. “In this game (against the Vandals), we were trying to make our identity. That’s who we are. We crash hard on the glass and we attack.”
Winthrop is a 3-point shooting team, having made at least 10 shots from beyond the arc in three of its first four games.
Jones has made 7 of 12 (58.3 percent) from 3-point range, Cory Hightower 12 of 22 (54.5) and Patrick Good 10 of 24 (41.7).
–Field Level Media