ROCK HILL, South Carolina — Jimmy Gavin scored 26 points and Xavier Cooks added 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds as Winthrop held off a second-half comeback to beat Hampton, 102-95 in the season opener for both schools Saturday afternoon.
Winthrop reached the Big South Conference championship game a year ago and Hampton reached the NCAA tournament after winning the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
Gavin drilled a 3-pointer to cap a 20-9 Winthrop run to open the game and the Eagles led by as many as 20 in the first half before taking an 11-point lead at the break, 60-49.
Hampton cut the lead to one, 63-62 with 12:53 left after Reginald Johnson made back-to-back layups, but Gavin completed a 3-point play and Cooks knocked down a jumper, two free throws and a 3-pointer to push the lead back to nine, 68-77.
Quinton Chievous led the Pirates with 29 points. Lawrence Cooks added 22 points.