Wofford Battles Back to Beat Chattanooga, 71-67

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Wofford SID) – Despite trailing at the half for the first time since the Dec. 6th game against Georgia Tech, 10 games ago, the Wofford men’s basketball team rallied back from an eight point halftime deficit to defeat Chattanooga 71-67 on Saturday night in the Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium.

With the win, Wofford improves to 14-5 on the season and 5-1 in Southern Conference play, while Chattanooga falls to 6-14 overall and 0-7 in conference action. Wofford has won six in a row and 11 of the last 12 contests. The Terriers also improve to 10-1 at home on the season, with the lone loss coming to South Carolina in the opener on Nov. 10. Wofford is 6-1 in games decided by five or less points on the year.

“Chattanooga is playing good basketball,” said head coach Mike Young. “We played much better in the second half, but I tip my hat to Chattanooga. They outplayed us in a number of areas, but we will take it. It was nice to see guys hang in there and do it as a unit.”

Fletcher Magee led all players with 26 points. Magee made five threes, 8-9 field goal attempts, and went 5-5 from the free throw line. He also added six rebounds and three assists in 33 minutes of play. Sophomore Nathan Hoover followed with 16 points on 50% shooting. Trevor Stumpe and Matthew Pegram both finished with 10 points to help the offensive efforts. Pegram went 4-5 from the field, while Stumpe added a team high seven rebounds.

“That was a timely performance from Nathan, and he really looked like his old self tonight,” noted Young. “He got some good looks and gave us a lift when we needed it. Matthew also played well tonight and it was good to see him breakout for 10 points.”

Chattanooga scored the first basket of the game just 30 seconds in on a layup by Nat Dixon. Wofford tied it three times, but never pulled ahead in the first half of play. The Mocs led by as many as 11 with 4:24 to go, and Wofford cut the lead to eight on a dunk by Pegram with two seconds to go. Chattanooga led 31-23 at the half, the lowest points at the half for Wofford since 22 at Texas Tech on Nov. 22.

A layup by Hoover and two made three throws by Cameron Jackson quickly cut the lead to four to start the second half, but Dixon sunk a three to push the Mocs’ lead back out to seven. Hoover and Magee nailed back-to-back threes on Wofford’s next two possessions and cut it to one. Wofford tied it at 36 with 16:11 to go, and neither team led by more than six the rest of the way. Chattanooga went ahead 61-55 when Makinde London made two free throws, but Wofford used an 11-0 run in response to swing the momentum and go up 66-61. The Mocs cut the Terriers’ lead to two with 30 seconds to go and again with 9 seconds to go, on a Dixon three, but Magee sank two free throws with five seconds to go to push it back to four and Wofford held on for the lead.

Wofford shot 43.1% from the field in the game, despite shooting 34.6% in the first half. Chattanooga shot 46.3% in the contest. Both teams struggled from three as Chattanooga shot 28.6% and Wofford, who led the country in three point field goal percentage entering the game (45%), shot just 26.9% from long range.

Wofford goes back on the road for the next contest. The Terriers play at VMI on Wednesday, Jan. 24 before returning home to host ETSU on Saturday, Jan. 26 and Western Carolina on Monday, Jan. 28.