Wofford Plays Two
Wofford vs High Point
The Terriers went up to High Point University this past Saturday for the first of back to back road tests against division 1 opponents after opening the season last Monday with a dominant effort against Division 3 Bob Jones University. The Terriers shot 65.3% from the field and 50% from 3 point range with freshman guard Jackson Paveletzke showing some potential to really become a breakout star this season. “Pav” tallied 16 points, including being a perfect 6 of 6 in the paint. Transfer center Kyler Filewich also had a strong showing, with the 6’ 9” 250 lb also logging 16 points as well as 11 rebounds in the 120-48 win.
The Terriers were strong offensively – well, at least in the 2nd half, in their first test against a D1 team this season. Both the Terriers and Panthers got off to a slow start. Wofford missed on back to back 3’s and a jumper in their first 3 possessions setting the tone for the half. High Point jumped ahead on a 3 with just under 18 minutes to play in the half and really never looked back with the Terriers never being any closer than a point back. The Terriers struggled to defend in transition, giving up 12 points off turnovers and 29 fast break points. They also struggled to defend in the paint, surrendering 38 points from the field in the 91-80 loss.
Defensive struggles aside, as mentioned earlier, Wofford had a few bright spots on offense. BJ Mack led the Terriers scoring with 21 points, shooting just under 50% from the field. Jackson Paveletzke followed up his double digit performance with another double digit effort, with 18 points on 6 of 13 from the floor. The other bright spot is that the Terrier bench contributed 20 points, and after struggling hard to get anything to fall in the first half (just 29 points, under 30 percent from the field. Most of their first half points came from the free throw line where the Terriers were 7 of 13), they outscored High Point 58-52 in the 2nd half, going 18 of 37 from the field and 7 for 17 from 3 point range.
Otherwise, Wofford had just 4 players log in the double digits. Messiah Jones and Corey Tripp combined for 21 points to go along with Mack and Paveletzke’s contribution.
Wofford vs Drake
The Terriers wrapped up a 2 game road trip on Monday night with a long trip up to Des Moines, Iowa to face the Drake University Bulldogs from the Missouri Valley Conference. Wofford came into the game looking to get back on track after struggling to shoot in the first half and struggling to get down court to defend in transition in a 91-80 loss to High Point University on Saturday.
This would be the first ever meeting between the Terriers and Bulldogs, and was a homecoming of sorts for one Wofford player in particular. Messiah Jones (senior forward from Chicago) originally committed to Drake to play for Niko Medved back in 2018. When Medved left for the Colorado State job, after some re-evaluation, and thanks to then-Wofford head coach Mike Young’s personal practice of always holding a scholarship for just such an occasion, Jones ended up signing to play for the Terriers. This game was scheduled so that Jones’ mother would have a chance to see him play in person. Sadly, she did not get that chance as she passed away back in August, but Jones was still able to have some of his family come from Chicago to see him in action.
The ones that came to see him may have left disappointed in the result, as the Terriers once again struggled defensively, falling 80-72 in what was overall a valiant and encouraging effort from this fairly young team from start to finish. Jones got the start but ended up being limited, playing just 19 minutes with just 3 points, 2 assists, a block, and 4 rebounds, with a 3 for 4 effort at the charity stripe.
Drake boasts a roster full of size – from a height perspective. There is not a guy under 6 feet on the team. Wofford is the opposite. They have some tall guys, but Wofford has a lot of size. This made for a bit of a mismatch of speed against Wofford’s size. It plagued them all night. The Terriers turned the ball over 12 times. Drake took advantage of that in full by getting Wofford caught in transition all game long, as they surrendered 10 points off turnovers, and were out rebounded 33-30 with the Bulldogs pulling down 11 offensive rebounds for 8 second chance points as well as 22 defensive rebounds. To top it all off, the Wofford defense gave up 46 points in the paint and 11 fast break points
In spite of their defensive struggles, the Terriers managed to keep it close, leading by a point twice in the 2nd half, and never trailing by more than 8. The Bulldogs eventually wore the Terriers down and put things away by going on a 17-4 run in the final 4 minutes of the game.
Overall, Wofford shot 47.3 % from the field (26 of 55), 11-26 (42.3%) from 3 point range, and 9 for 11 from the freethrow line (81.8%). Sophomore guard Corey Tripp led the way with 18 points on 7 of 11 from the field and 4-6 from behind the arch. Freshman Jackson Paveletzke had his 3rd straight double digit point effort, with 15 on 5 of 11 in the paint, 2-4 from three, and a perfect 3 for 3 from the stripe with 3 rebounds. BJ Mack added 13 points with 8 rebounds, and freshman Amarri Tice notched 11 points with 3 rebounds and an assist. The Terrier bench combined for 12 points.
Wofford will return to Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium this weekend as they will host “The Battle of the Carolinas” – a showcase featuring Gardner-Webb, who they will face to open it up on Friday night at 7:00, and North Carolina A&T.
NC A&T will face GWU on Saturday at 5:00 PM. The showcase will close with the Terriers facing NC A&T on Sunday at 5:00 PM.