SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Wofford SID) – The Wofford men’s basketball team handed Furman its first conference loss of the season with a 79-70 victory in front of a raucous, sold out crowd in Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium on Saturday night. With the win, Wofford improves to 12-5 on the season and 3-1 in the Southern Conference. Furman falls to 13-5 overall and 4-1 in conference play with the loss.
Wofford has won four in a row, including three conference wins, and has won nine of the last 10 games. The Terriers move to 9-1 at home this season. Wofford has now won 18 of the last 23 against the Paladins and seven straight meetings in Spartanburg, as Furman last picked up a win in the Hub City in overtime on January 24, 2011.
“That was a great win against a good team,” said head coach Mike Young. “Furman is a good team. They’re old and experienced and have won a lot of good games, but it was a good night for the home team. There was a lot of work that went into preparing for this one, and I’m proud we got the win.”
For the third time in the last four games, Trevor Stumpe set a new career high with 20 points. The sophomore guard shot 70% from the field, 4-6 from deep and added five rebounds and two assists in 32 minutes of play. Big man Cameron Jackson had an excellent showing. The forward finished with 20 points, five rebounds, two assists, two blocks and four steals in just 24 minutes of play. Despite entering the game shooting 52.1% from the line, Jackson went 4-4 from the charity stripe.
Fletcher Magee tallied 17 points including 3-5 from deep. He tied a team high with six rebounds. Nathan Hoover came off the bench to go 4-5 from the floor, 3-3 from distance and 2-2 from the line.
Wofford started off the game hot and jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead behind a Jackson layup, a Stumpe three and then a dunk by Jackson. Furman got on the board with a jumper from John Davis, but the Terriers pushed the lead to 12-3. Furman cut the lead to one off a three by Geoff Beans to make it 22-21 and then took the lead on the next possession when Jordan Lyons sunk a three.
With 4:37 left in the half, Stumpe came up big again and nailed a three to push Wofford’s advantage back to eight. Jackson hit two free throws with 1:43 left to keep the lead at eight, but the Paladins closed the half on a 5-0 run to pull within 41-38 at the intermission.
Matt Rafferty made a layup out of the half to make it a one point game, but Wofford answered with a 7-0 run to extend the lead back out. The Paladins cut it to one, again, 52-51, and then tied it at 52 when Lyons hit one of two free throws. From there, the teams traded baskets and the lead until Nathan Hoover nailed a huge three pointer to tie the score at 62 with 6:49. The Hoover three started a 12-0 run, over a nearly four minute period, for the Terriers and the Paladins never recovered.
“We got some big stops down the stretch and that was huge for us,” said Stumpe. “We committed to give it all we had for the last four minutes and we really cracked down. It was really a team effort.”
Wofford shot 52% from the field and held Furman to 43.3% and shot 45.8% to 32.1% from long range. The Terriers made more free throws than Furman attempted (16) and shot 20% better from the line. Wofford also won the battle on the glass, outrebounding Furman by 13.
The 2016-17 SoCon Player of the Year and 2017-18 Preseason Player of the Year, Devin Sibley, led Furman with 17.
After four consecutive home games, Wofford heads on the road for a conference tilt with Samford on Thursday. The Terriers return home next Saturday, Jan. 20 against Chattanooga.
“I wish we could play all of our games at home, but there comes a time when you have to go out there and fight and bring the juice and win on the road and that is our plan. We will have to get ready to dial it up against a good Samford team.”