The Eagles took an 18 point lead into intermission and padded that lead to 23 points on Jimmy Gavin's 3-point play with 15:31 to play. Sam Hughes sparked a 13-2 run that cut the deficit to 12 points and Raekwon Miller's 3-pointer made it 75-73 with 5:24 to go. Dwayne Sutton tied it at 81-81 and Hughes gave the Bulldogs the lead, 83-81. Winthrop went 3-of-4 from the line, but Thomas' layup put the game away.
Hughes and Kevin Vannatta led UNC-Asheville (11-5, 4-0 Big South) with 21 and 20 points, respectively. Miller contributed 16 points and Thomas and Sutton each added 13.
Keon Johnson scored 23 points and Gavin added another 17 to lead Winthrop (9-6, 2-3).