Terriers Fall to LSU; Defeat Blue Hose
The Terriers took a trip down to Baton Rouge over Thanksgiving Weekend to take on the red-hot Tigers of LSU. The “Bayou Bengals” were undefeated at 4-0 coming into the game, but not having been truly tested. They had been very strong offensively, averaging nearly 76 points per game, defeating opponents by an average of over 16 points per game.
On the other hand, the young Terriers had faced adversity every game except their first, having most recently overcome a sloppy performance against North Greenville for their 3rd straight win.
For certain, this would be the toughest test yet for the Terriers, and despite the result, they passed it.
Wofford ended up making life tough for the Tigers. The Terriers jumped out to an early lead while LSU got off to a slow start. Messiah Jones got the scoring started on a layup on Wofford’s opening possession, and they had built up a 4-0 advantage before LSU finally got on the board a little over 2:00 into the game. From there, it was a back and forth, with Wofford never leading by more than 4 and LSU up by as many as 7 points.
The Tigers outshot the Terriers nearly 54%-44% in the first half, but the Terriers found some success shooting the deep ball to stay in it. They were 6 of 15 from behind the arch (40%) in the half, and seemed to hit them when they needed to most.
They retook the lead by 1 after falling behind for the first time on a Corey Tripp trey ball. In the hole 6 points, they cut it in half with a clutch 3 from Adam Silas with around 11:00 to play. Down 7 with under 5:00 to play, they hit on back to back 3s after a layup to erase a 7 point deficit and take the lead.
After trailing by 7 once again early on, the Terriers went on a 9-0 run to take a 42-40 advantage, leading to a back and forth in the 2nd half that actually saw the Terriers build up their biggest lead. Wofford led by 5 twice late before going cold and allowing LSU to go on a 10-0 run to build up a 5 point advantage of their own.
The Terriers had a chance to tie it in the waning seconds, but came up just short as they missed on 3 straight attempts by Bj Mack, Jackson Sivills, and Carson McCorkle, falling 78-75 for just their 3rd loss.
Wofford had 4 different players in double digits. Jackson Paveletzke continued to ball out, with his 6th straight double digit scoring effort. He logged 19 points and 5 assists with 3 rebounds. BJ Mack just barely missed being the first Wofford player with a double double this season, scoring 18 with 9 rebounds & 4 assists. Corey Tripp added 14 points, going 3 for 5 from 3 point range. Carson McCorkle was just 4 for 12 from the field, but of those 4 makes, 3 were from three point range, giving him a total of 11 points.
Wofford returned home to Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium on Thursday, taking on the Presbyterian College Blue Hose. PC’s record was 2-6 coming into the contest, but I can say in full confidence that you can almost throw the record out the door with this team. The Blue Hose came in averaging 62 points per game. Many of those points are 2nd chance points as they were ranked 39th in the nation in offensive rebounds. Though they do not necessarily shoot well, they are a very stingy team defensively, not allowing opponents to get inside against them easily and forcing a lot of turnovers. PC averaged nearly 6 steals per game prior to tonight with nearly 4 blocks per game.
In summary, they are pesky good and they were going to make going on extended scoring runs against them difficult.
The Blue Hose did exactly that, building up a 5 point advantage in the first 3 minutes. BJ Mack managed to use his size to make a couple of contested layups, but between those, Wofford committed 3 turnovers, leading to all 7 of the Blue Hose’s points in that stretch. The Terriers turned the ball over a total of 7 times in the first half, leading to 11 points.
Offensively, the game was a see-saw affair for most of the 1st half. The lead changed 7 times with the Hose actually leading for the majority of the half. The Terriers shot 14-24 from the field in the half, ultimately staying in the game using a perfect 9 for 9 effort from the freethrow line.
The momentum finally swung into Wofford’s advantage for good in the final 3:00 of the half when the Terriers outrebounded the Hose and pulled out to a 7 point advantage behind the “big 3” – Messiah Jones (8 points), BJ Mack (10 pts), and Jackson Paveletzke (7).
In the 2nd half, the Terriers pulled away by playing PC at their own game. Wofford forced 10 turnovers, leading to 15 points, and once again won the battle at the freethrow line (6-7 in the 2nd half to PC’s 0-1), holding the Blue Hose to no offensive rebounds.
The Terriers were led by Messiah Jones with 16 points on 6-9 shooting and 4 rebounds.
Jackson Paveletzke did it again with 13 points on 5-9 from the field with 3 assists.
Carson McCorkle put together his best offensive effort of the season with 11 points (all in the 2nd half), going 3-4 from three point range and 4-7 shooting overall. He also had 3 rebounds and 2 assists as well as 2 steals.
BJ Mack also scored in double figures with 10 points on 4-7 shooting with 4 rebounds and 2 assists.
Wofford ends the week dating back to Thanksgiving Eve 2-1 and stands at 5-3 overall. They will get back to action Saturday with a road trip to Vanderbilt with tip set for 5:00 PM. The Terriers will then return home Tuesday December 6th, hosting Coastal Carolina with tip set for 7:30 PM.