Wofford Hosts Weekend DH
The Terriers hosted the “Battle of the Carolinas” showcase this weekend at Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium, which featured some good competition from a couple of other mid major conferences – Gardner Webb from the Big South Conference and North Carolina A&T from the Colonial Athletic Association. Wofford opened with GWU on Friday night, GWU and NC A&T played each other on Saturday, and Wofford closed it all out by hosting NC A&T on Sunday.
Things got off to an exciting start on Friday night, coming down to a last-second missed layup from the Bulldogs. Wofford shot terribly in the game, going just 16 of 57 from the field, including an abysmal 3 for 19 from beyond the arch. Shooting like that, regardless of your opponent, is normally a recipe for just chalking things up as “just not our night.” Against a team with the scoring ability of Gardner-Webb, it definitely made for a less than ideal situation.
For perspective, Wofford, who had been struggling with both transition and defense in the paint over their last 2 games against High Point and Drake, struggled again to defend inside the perimeter, allowing the Runnin’ Bulldogs to outscore them 30-24 inside the arch. They also gave up 17 points to the GWU bench alone.
Luckily for the Terriers, to just punt on a game and let his younger guys on what is an incredibly young team get some reps is not Jay McAuley’s cup of tea. To just lie down and not give max effort is also not in the cards for BJ Mack.
BJ Mack led the way with 26 points and 6 rebounds, going 9 for 17 shooting. He scored 20 of those just in the 2nd half. His senior counterpart, Messiah Jones, also tallied in double digits with 11 points and 6 rebounds. Jackson Paveletzke once again put up double digit figures, with his 4th straight big effort. He logged 11 points with 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and also contributed defensively with 3 steals.
While The Terriers were outplayed in many aspects, what kept them in the game was winning the turnover battle. Wofford scored 15 points on 17 Runnin Bulldog turnovers. On the flipside, the Terriers did not give up any points on just 5 turnovers.
Wofford also shot 80 percent from the charity stripe, going 25 for 31.
The win marked the 5th straight in the series between the Terriers and Gardner-Webb, and upped the overall series record to 7-5. It also evened Wofford’s record at 2-2 on the season.
vs NC A&T
After a thrilling 1-point victory over Gardner-Webb in which the Terriers stormed back in the 2nd half from being down 14 with 15 minutes to play, Wofford was looking to close the “Battle of the Carolinas” with their 2nd consecutive win. To achieve that, they would need to knock off the North Carolina A&T State Aggies.
The Aggies had a tough 66-64 loss to Gardner-Webb on Saturday in the 2nd game of the showcase, and were looking to get back on track, so it goes without saying that the Terriers would need to play at the top of their game in order to get the W.
This game, unlike the trend over the last 3 games, got off to a particularly slow start. Not in the sense you’d expect. We have seen Wofford struggle to get their offense going in the first half in every game except for the opener against Bob Jones. But the Terriers actually shot 53% from the field in the first half of this contest (14 of 26) as well as nearly 43% from distance (6 for 14).
It was slow in the sense that neither team was playing with much of a tempo. Despite the Terriers’ struggles getting down court to defend quick transitions, the Aggies did not pressure them much in the early going. At the first media timeout of the game, Wofford led just 7-3. Despite not getting off to an explosive start shooting, the Terriers did defend very well, up to that point, holding the Aggies to just 1 of 7 shooting.
With Wofford struggling from the free throw line and leading only by 7, enter Jackson Sivills.. He made his presence known immediately, hitting on each of his first 4 attempts from the field to aid the Terriers in building a 27-11 advantage at the under 8 mark of the first half. He finished the half with 10 points. BJ Mack also had a strong finish to the first half after a slow start, finishing 4 for 8 with 9 points.
In the 2nd half, Wofford started 1 for 5 from the field, allowing NC A&T to claw it back to within single digits with a 5-0 run leading up to the first media timeout. From there, the Terriers used 2 runs of 6-0 and 9-0 to pull away, although it did not put the nail in the coffin.
Wofford had 1 more 0-5 shooting streak in which the Aggies were able to pull back within reach again before Messiah Jones and Carson McCorkle finally managed to break into the scoring column to finish it off.
Overall, Wofford shot nearly 52% from the field (27-52) and almost 43% from three point range (12 of 28), while still shooting over 60% from the line (12 for 19).
Jackson Paveletzke led the way for the Terriers with 21 points, marking his 5th straight double digit game to start the season, going 5 of 7 from the field and a perfect 8 for 8 from the freethrow line with 6 assists.
Jackson Sivills had a happy birthday, tallying 13 points (including going 3 of 4 from beyond the arch and 5 for 6 from the floor) with 4 rebounds.
BJ Mack naturally had to come back down from his incredible team-carrying 26 point effort against Gardner-Webb, but still managed to put up double digit figures with 12 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists.
The trio of Kyler Filewich (11 pts, 7 rebounds), Corey Tripp (9 points, 6 assists), and Messiah Jones (7 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks, and a steal) combined for 27 points
The Terriers managed to play a clean game, committing less than 10 turnovers for the 2nd consecutive game (7 in total) and surrendering just 6 points off them. They also committed just 12 fouls with only 2 players having more than 1 – Carson McCorkle had 3 and Messiah Jones logged 2.
Wofford, now 3-2 on the season, will get one more non-D1 tune up at home on Thanksgiving Eve as they host the NCAA Division II North Greenville University Crusaders at 1:00 PM and then will hit the road on Sunday the 27th to take on LSU in Baton Rouge at 3:00 ET (2:00 Central).