Local College Basketball Updates
Wofford defeats Presbyterian
Wofford picked up their 8th win of the season this past Saturday, as they knocked off the PC Blue Hose 76-49 at the Templeton Center. This game got off to a very slow start for both squads with the score tied 1-1 for the first 5:00. Presbyterian managed to jump out to a 5-1 lead with a short-lived 4-0 run before the Terriers managed to get anything going. For most of the first half, Wofford struggled to get their shots to fall, shooting just 11 for 28 (3-13 from three point range, and just 6 for 11 from the line). Wofford finally managed to turn the game on its head when PC went on a 5:00 scoring drought, during which Max Klesmit and Austin Patterson combined for back to back to back 3 pointers to open up a 26-13 advantage. PC again went cold over the final 2:34 of the half, and the Terriers took a 31-20 lead to the half with Sam Godwin leading with a mere 9 points.
The 2nd half was a completely different tale for Wofford as the Terriers went on an offensive explosion. They opened on an 8-2 run, highlighted by back to back 3’s from Max Klesmit and BJ Mack. After a brief scoreless streak for Wofford during which the Blue Hose managed to pull back within 10, Klesmit came through again with back to back three balls, which sparked a 13-2 run by the Terriers, and they never relented from there.
Overall, Wofford shot 76.2% from the floor in half #2. Klesmit tallied 14 points in the 2nd half (21 total on the game), finishing 6-11 from the floor, 4 of 7 from behind the arch, and 5-6 from the charity stripe. Isaiah Bigelow was the Terriers’ 2nd leading scorer with a season high 14 points and 4 rebounds. Austin Patterson and BJ Mack also made significant contributions, with 10 points and 3 rebounds each. But, more impressively than their offense was their stifling defense. Wofford held PC to just 1-18 from three point range and a mere 37.5% shooting on the game with 13 turnovers.
The Terriers’ next action will come Wednesday afternoon at 3:00 as they travel to Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.
Presbyterian Splits Week with 1-1 Mark
The PC men’s basketball team went 1-1 last week as they defeated Carver 98-33 on Wednesday before falling to Wofford on Saturday 76-49. The Terriers hit their final 13 shots while PC went 1-18 from 3.
PC (7-6) has just one game as Tuesday night they’ll travel to Furman at 7:00pm. The Paladins are 7-5 on the season after a close 69-66 loss to Mississippi St last week. Furman was picked near the top of the Southern Conference.
PC continues to be led by Sophomore G Rayshon Harrison, who’s averaging 17.6 points per game. PC has one final non-conference game after Christmas, at home against Truett McConnell on Dec 30th. PC begins Conference play on the road at NC A&T on January 5th.
Upstate Falls to Tennessee; Beats Converse
The USC Upstate Spartans lost to a very good Tennessee team in Knoxville last week by the score of 96-52. They rebounded on Saturday with a win against Converse 78-38.
In the win against Converse 12 Spartans scored buckets and two scored in double figures.
Upstate is on the road on Tuesday for their final contest before the Christmas break as they take on the Ohio Bobcats. Next week the Spartans will be at home for their final non-conference game against Columbia International at 4pm on December 30th and will begin conference play hosting Radford on January 5th.
Converse Has Tough Week
The Converse Valkyries had a tough run last week, dropping all three games they played. A big second half (49 points) wasn’t enough as they fell to UNC-Pembroke on Wednesday 78-64, before stepping up a level and taking on two division one teams over the weekend. They lost to Gardner Webb 79-46 on Friday, before falling 78-38 to USC-Upstate on Saturday. The woes continued into this week with a 73-64 loss to Limestone on Monday night. The Valkyries now sit at 4-7 overall, 3-4 in conference play.
They now get some time off for the holidays before returning to the court to face Winthrop on New Year’s Eve. The tough competition in December should prepare this young team for the grind of conference play going into the new year. Coach Saunders seems to have figured out his regular rotation of players, with eight guys averaging over 15 minutes per game. Now it comes down to execution. Converse is shooting just 39.5% from the floor this year, and just 29.1% from behind the arc. Those numbers should improve after the Winthrop game, as the Valkyries then get a stretch of conference games against other D-II schools.