Winthrop beats Charleston Southern 84-68 to open Big South

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Keon Johnson and Xavier Cooks combined to score 40 points as preseason favorite Winthrop opened Big South Conference play with an 84-68 win at Charleston Southern Thursday night.

The tandem, both first-team All-Big South picks a year ago, are 2nd and 4th in scoring heading into conference play.

Johnson was 7 of 16 from the field, including 3 of 6 from distance, and converted 10 of 13 from the line to tally 27 points. Cooks grabbed 11 rebounds and dished six assists to go with 13 points. Bjorn Broman added 15 points off the Eagles bench.

Winthrop (9-3, 1-0) was 29 of 59 from the field (49.2 percent), including 10 of 22 from long range (45.5 percent).

Armel Potter had 15 points as Charleston Southern (4-8, 0-1) struggled from the field, hitting 26 of 74 shots (35.1 percent) and 4 of 21 from distance (19 percent).

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