On Monday night in the finals of the Southern Conference Tournament at U.S. Cellular Center, the Wofford men's basketball team downed Western Carolina 56-53 to win the championship. The Terriers earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last five years. The Terriers are improved to 20-12 and Western Carolina is 19-15 overall. The Terriers were led by SoCon Tournament MVP Karl Cochran with 23 points and five rebounds. Lee Skinner added 11 points and eight rebounds. The Catamounts were led by Brandon Boggs with 17 points. "A tip of the hat to a Western Carolina program and a coaching staff that we think a lot of," said head coach Mike Young. "This business gets awfully nasty at times. Our games with them are like that time and time again. I wanted to win this so badly. There is nothing like it. The journey and culmination of a lot of hard work and it's not always ice cream and rainbows. What a team." "It's the ultimate dream," said Lee Skinner. "It's amazing, and it's the best feeling in the world. We've been through a grind; it was tough, it was good; we had that brotherhood around. We had the fans that came out today. The school was behind us. It's incredible." Eric Garcia hit a three pointer to open the game. Buckets by Lee Skinner and a three pointer by Karl Cochran gave the Terriers an 8-2 lead with 16:17 on the clock. After a pair of free throws by the Catamounts, Karl Cochran hit a jumper for a 10-4 score. A bucket by Justin Gordon gave Wofford a 13-6 lead before the Catamounts added two free throws. The Catamounts made it a 13-10 game before a jumper by Lee Skinner gave Wofford a 15-10 lead with 11:08 left in the first half. A three pointer from the top of the arc at the end of the shot clock by Karl Cochran pushed the lead to 18-11. A dunk by C.J. Neumann with 8:50 on the clock made it a 20-13 game. The Catamounts scored the next five points before C.J. Neumann made a jumper just inside the arc for a 22-18 score with 4:10 left in the half. Western Carolina made it a three point game at 23-20 before a lay-up by C.J. Neumann with 56 seconds remaining. Karl Cochran had a steal and lay-up for a 27-20 score at the 35 second mark. The Catamounts failed to score on their final possession and the Terriers had a seven-point lead at the break. To start the second half, the Catamounts scored seven straight points and tied the game at 27. Karl Cochran drained a three pointer to regain the lead at 30-29 with 17:25 on the clock and C.J. Neumann added a bucket to make it 32-29 a minute later. After the Catamounts made it a one point game, Jaylen Allen hit a three from the far corner to give Wofford a 35-21 advantage with 11:47 left in the second half. Karl Cochran hit a jumper for a 37-31 advantage and Lee Skinner added a bucket for a 39-33 lead. A three by Karl Cochran and a lay-up by Jaylen Allen pushed the score to 44-33 with 8:30 left in the half. The Catamounts ended the 7-0 run with a couple of buckets to make it a 44-37 game. Lee Skinner had a lay-up for a 46-37 lead. Western Carolina then used a 6-0 run to cut the lead to 46-43 with 4:04 remaining.
Wofford Wins Southern Conference Title, advances to NCAA Tourney
Wofford.edu | Mar 11