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Winthrop to allow limited attendance at basketball, volleyball games

Eagles men's basketball in first place in the Big South

ROCK HILL, S.C. — Winthrop University will begin hosting a limited number of fans at indoor sporting events beginning Feb. 23.

The school announced that some fans will be able to attend mens and womens basketball games, and volleyball contests.

Tickets must be purchsed in advance on the athletics department's website

Eagles fans can catch men's basketball home games on Feb. 23 and 24, to see one of the best teams in college basketball.

Winthrop is 18-1, and at one point this season held the longest active winning streak in Division 1, victorious in 21-straight games dating back to the 2019-20 season.

Head Coach Pat Kelsey said one key is how deep and experienced his team is.

"We're playing 10 guys over 11 minutes a game," Kelsey said. "We sub in droves, we do mass subs where we'll have four or five guys come in to the game at the same time."

With Gardner-Webb's win over Radford on Wednesday, the Eagles are regular-season Big South champions with four games left.

The Eagles are looking to clinch a spot in the NCAA Tournament, something they did last year by winning their conference tourney, but the big dance was canceled.

"To be honest with you we never talk about down the road," said Kelsey, who preaches a game-by-game approach, "we never talk about March."

They might not say it, but it's on their mind.

Senior guard Chandler Vaudrin is in his second season with Winthrop after transferring from D2 Walsh (Ohio) University.

"A lot of decision to leave my D2 was because I always filled out the bracket as a kid," Vaudrin said, "and always wanted to play in the NCAA Tournament."

Vaudrin is a rarity in mid-major college hoops.

A 6-foot-7 guard who is a triple-double threat every game.

Vaudrin averages 12.7 points, 7.1 assists and 6.8 rebounds per game.

He has the most triple-doubles (7) of any active Division 1 player, and the fourth-most assists (614).

"Never would I go in to a game and be like I need to get a triple-double, that's what I need to do," said Vaudrin. "For me, I knew if I was rebounding and getting close to 10 rebounds, I knew that I was playing hard."

Vaudrin is the type of player that could blow up on the national scene if Winthrop makes another NCAA Tournament, and the Eagles are the type of team that could make some noise, too.

"That's not how it was supposed to go last year," he said, "and hopefully we get a tournament this year and hopefully we're able to play in it."