BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Wofford SID) – Wofford senior Spencer Collins became one of the men’s basketball program’s top 10 all-time scorers with an 18-point effort that led the Terriers to victory, 78-75, over Samford on Saturday afternoon at the Pete Hanna Center.
With the Terriers clinging to a four-point lead late and less than 5 minutes to play, senior C.J. Neumann fought his way for an offensive rebound and kicked it out to a wide open Collins, who buried a 3-pointer from the top of the arc. On Wofford’s next possession, Fletcher Magee hit his fourth triple of the afternoon and got fouled in the process. The freshman converted the four-point play to put the Terriers up nine, 68-59.
Wofford (11-13, 7-4 SoCon) hit 10-of-13 free throws in the final 4 minutes to hang on. Samford (11-14, 2-10 SoCon) had the ball with a chance to tie down 76-73, in the final seconds, but Christen Cunningham turned it over. Terrier senior Eric Garcia iced the game with the final two free throws. Samford’s Wyatt Walker scored a tip-in at the horn to make the final margin three points.
“We came down here and found a way to win. It’s never easy,” said Wofford head coach Mike Young. “Samford is a lot better than their record tells. Coach Padgett has them in every game and they’re tough. We didn’t handle some things very well and took a couple of quick shots in the final minutes when we didn’t need a quick shot. We’ve got to manage that part of it a little better, but I feel fortunate and excited to win another Southern Conference game.”
Collins passed Terrier great Wayne Rice (1983-87) for a spot in the program’s top 10 scorers. The Easley, S.C., product shot 5-of-11 from the floor, 3-of-5 from long range and 5-of-6 from the foul line. He ended the game with an even 1,600 career points.
“I don’t know many guys on a school’s top 10 scoring list that anyone would call an average guy and Spencer is no exception,” Young added. “Spencer has been terrific. He’s been a great player for us for a long time and he was awfully good in here again today.”
Collins also collected a game-high seven rebounds, including three on the offensive end. Neumann and redshirt junior Ryan Sawvell each came down with six, helping Wofford edge the Bulldogs on the glass, 32-30.
Junior Eric Garcia scored 17 points with a game-high six assists. Magee scored 13 on a perfect 4-for-4 showing from the perimeter and senior Justin Gordon rounded out Woffod’s double-figure scorers with 11.
For Samford, senior Darius Jones-Gibson netted a game-high 21 points and matched Garcia’s six assists. Sophomore point guard Christen Cunningham also dished out six and scored 19, while freshman Wyatt Walker ended the afternoon with 13 points.
The Terriers had some offensive trouble out of the gates and started the game 2-for-11 from the field. However, they were able to keep Samford within striking distance. Once the Terriers got it going, they scored 14 unanswered points to turn a six-point deficit into a 24-16 lead. Garcia, Collins, Magee, Sawvell and junior Jaylen Allen all scored in the run that lasted 5:07.
Wofford went on to outscore Samford 23-10 through the final 10 minutes of the half, shooting 10-of-20 with just a single turnover. It resulted in a 33-26 halftime lead.
Wofford hit its first three shots out of the locker rooms and led by as many as 13 points in the early part of the second half. Garcia pushed the advantage to 13 one more time with a 3-pointer at the 14:09 mark.
Samford slowly cut into the lead before a 6-0 run turned it into a 55-51 game. Gordon got free down court and slammed home a dunk to prevent the margin from getting any closer and the Terriers were able to rebuild a nine-point lead with Magee’s four-point play.
Wofford plays its next three games at home in a span of six days. The homestand begins Monday night against VMI at 7 p.m. It will be Panthers Appreciation Night at Benjamin Johnson Arena. Fans wearing their Carolina Panthers gear will be admitted for $5. The home week continues Thursday against Mercer, followed by a Saturday night game against The Citadel.
– Spencer Collins became one of the men’s basketball program’s top 10 all-time scorers. Collins passed Wayne Rice (1983-87) for the No. 10 spot and has scored exactly 1,600 career points.
– The Terriers won their sixth consecutive series meeting against Samford. Wofford now leads the series 11-2 since the Bulldogs became a member of the SoCon in 2008-09.
– Wofford entered the game as the No. 1 team in the SoCon in 3-point shooting (39.5%) and improved on that mark by going 10 for 18 (55.6%).