Wofford Falls at The Citadel, 80-78

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Wofford SID) – The Wofford men’s basketball team led for over 26 minutes, but it wasn’t enough as the Terriers fell 80-78 to The Citadel in McAlister Fieldhouse on Thursday night.

With the loss, Wofford falls to 16-7 on the season and 7-3 in Southern Conference play, while The Citadel improves to 8-14 overall and 3-7 in conference action. The Terriers and Bulldogs split the regular season meetings.

Despite having just four points at the half, junior guard Fletcher Magee led the Terriers with 21 points. The native of Orlando finished 8-12 from the field and 4-7 from long range in 34 minutes of action. Magee’s second three of the contest put him over 100 for the season, giving him back-to-back seasons with 100+ three pointers. He is the first player to accomplish the feat in Wofford history.

Nathan Hoover and Storm Murphy joined Magee in double figures as the pair notched 13 and 12, respectively. Ten Terriers saw action and nine scored. Murphy dished out a team high seven assists, the most for the freshman since the win over Furman on Jan. 13. Derrick Brooks pulled down a team high eight rebounds. The senior guard is averaging a team high 6.5 rebounds in conference play.

Wofford jumped out to a 4-0 lead to start the game after layups by Mt. Pleasant native Matthew Pegram and Brooks. The Citadel tied it at 7 before the Terriers used a three by Tray Hollowell, a layup by Trevor Stumpe and another layup by Hollowell to go on a 7-0 run and push the lead to 14-7. The Citadel answered with a 15-8 run to tie the game at 22 with 9 minutes to go in the half. From there, no team led by more than four in the half. Tied 39-39 with just over two minutes to go, Magee scored on a layup to put the Terriers out in front but The Citadel’s Matt Frierson knocked down a three with seven seconds to go and the Bulldogs held on to a 42-41 halftime advantage. Thirty of Wofford’s 41 points came in the paint.

In the second half, Kaelon Harris converted on a layup attempt and pushed the lead to three but Magee responded with his first three of the contest to tie it up. The teams traded points until Magee scored eight points in a minutes of play and put Wofford up 64-54. The Bulldogs began to chip away at the lead and pulled within two with 6:37 to go on a layup by Frankie Johnson. The Citadel regained the lead for the first time since the 19:10 mark of the second half with 2:10 to go. Johnson scored on a layup and then Frierson added another with a minute to go to go up 76-72.

Stumpe hit a jumper to cut The Citadel lead in half and Wofford called timeout with 41 seconds to go, Wofford’s first basket in over three and a half minutes. With 15 seconds left in the game, Johnson scored on a layup to again make it a four point game. Murphy drove the court and hit a three to make it a one point game with 10 seconds to go. Wofford fouled The Citadel’s Zane Najdawi with seven seconds left in the game and the junior forward made both. Frierson fouled Magee on the inbound and Magee made the first to make it 80-78. He missed the second and the Bulldogs came up with the defensive rebound to seal the win.

Wofford shot 50.8% and held The Citadel to 40%, but The Citadel outrebounded Wofford by 12 and turned 15 offensive rebounds into 12 second chance points. The Bulldogs also scored 21 points off the Terriers’ 14 turnovers.

Wofford remains on the road for the next contest as the Terriers head to Macon to face Mercer on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 4:30 p.m. Then, Wofford returns to Spartanburg to host Samford Feb. 10.