ASHEVILLE, N.C. (Wofford SID) – With the help of clutch 3-pointer after clutch 3-pointer off the hands of SoCon Freshman of the Year Fletcher Magee, the fourth-seeded Terriers came back from as many as nine points down in regulation. Trailing by two in the final minute, Magee rose up and connected for his fifth triple to put Wofford in front, 60-59, its first lead since 19-16 in the first half.
Western Carolina’s Torrion Brummitt hit 1-of-2 at the stripe with 13 seconds left to force the first overtime. Wofford took a five-point lead midway through the extra session, but fell behind in the final 30 seconds.
Again, Magee came to the rescue. The Orlando, Fla., native skied for another 3-pointer to put the Terriers back in front with 15 seconds left. However, Mike Brown was able to draw a foul in the final 5 seconds and sank both free throws to force another overtime.
Western jumped ahead in the second overtime. Brummitt connected on a jumper in the lane to give the Catamounts a five-point lead and extended it to six with 1:34 remaining.
Wofford was nearly able to pull it off. Junior Eric Garcia cut the lead to four with an uncontested layup. The Terriers fouled Rhett Harrelson, who missed both free throws with 44 seconds to go, and junior Jaylen Allen drained a 3-pointer to make it a one-point game, 84-83.
Again, Wofford fouled. This time, it was Devin Peterson who went to the stripe. Peterson hit both to give the Catamounts a 3-point lead and Western fouled Garcia, preventing the Terriers from launching a potential, game-tying shot. Garcia missed the first free throw and threw the ball off the rim on the second, but the rebound went to the Catamounts, which sealed the game.
Wofford ends the 2015-16 season with a record of 15-17.
“It was intense,” said Wofford head coach Mike Young. “We’ve accomplished some things. We’ve got a little bit of pride in that locker room. (Western Carolina) made a couple of stabs at us and we came right back. For that, I’m awfully proud of our guys. They fought like crazy.
Magee ended the game with a team-high 23 points, hitting 7-of-15 from the field and 6-of-11 from the 3-point arc. It marked his third straight 20-point game, including a 22-point performance just nine days ago in Cullowhee.
“He’s had other games like that where every time it goes up you think it’s going in,” said Young on the freshman standout. “I thought, as a perimeter player, he was going to give us the best opportunity to win. He did everything. I maybe wore him down a little bit. He was terrific.”
Western Carolina (16-16) was willed to victory by Mike Brown’s game-high 34 points. Torrion Brummitt went for 25 and a game-high 14 rebounds.
“We couldn’t guard Mike Brown if we played him 10 times,” Young added. “That’s embarrassing. Take nothing away from (Brown), he was outstanding, but 34 points for crying out loud. He makes us look like little fellas and that’s frustrating.”
Brown’s 34 came on 11-of-21 shooting. He also got to the line and hit 9-of-10. As a team, Western hit 26-of-35 free throws (74%), while Wofford, the SoCon leader in free throw shooting in the regular season, uncharacteristically struggled to 14-of-24 (59%).
Wofford got outrebounded 44-32, including 20-11 in the first half, leading to a 31-26 Western Carolina lead at halftime.
Senior C.J. Neumann was held without a rebound the entire first half, but was a force down the stretch. In what wound up being his final game, Neumann crashed the glass for 10 rebounds through the second half and overtime.
- Fletcher Magee ends the season with a 3-point percentage of 47.9 percent (91-190), which was 0.2 percent away from the teach record of 48.1%, held by Matt Mayes from the 1986-87 season.
- Fletcher Magee ends the season with a free throw percentage of 92.5 percent (86-93), which is a new program record. He is just the sixth freshman in NCAA history to end the season above 90 percent (min. 2.5 makes per game).
- It was the sixth time in the last seven years Wofford and Western Carolina have met in the Southern Conference Tournament, and the eighth time overall. Wofford is 5-3 against the Catamounts in the postseason.
- It was the first Wofford game to reach double overtime since 2010, when the Terriers fell, 94-90, in triple overtime at Xavier.
- It was the first time since 2004 Wofford went to overtime in the SoCon Tournament. It was the first time in Wofford’s SoCon Tournament history the game went to double overtime.