USA TODAY Sports
Sometimes getting hot from behind the arc is all you need. Xavier outplayed the Terriers in almost every aspect of the game, but still fell short thanks to poor free throw shooting and a strong 3-point performance from their Southern Conference foes.
There are days when you can do everything right and you still come out on the wrong side of the game. Such was the case Saturday with Xavier, that dropped a 56-55 decision to Wofford.
Maybe it wasn't a perfect performance -- there were a few categories you would have liked to see improve -- but Xavier played better overall that the Terriers. Perhaps the one place you can fault the Musketeers was in 3-point defense.
Normally a staunch defender of the arc, Xavier allowed Wofford to shoot 41.2 percent from 3-point range. It is one of the Terrier strengths and you would think should have been on the scouting report.
If the Musketeers defend that shot a little better, they win this game. It is not as if Wofford was shooting well everywhere on the floor. Inside the arc, the Terriers were just 10-for-30. Meanwhile, Xavier was shooting 47.8 percent for the game.
That is why this is such as shocking defeat. Maybe it was the free-throw shooting -- the Musketeers hit only 50 percent of their 16 tries. Maybe it was the 3-pointers.
The bottom line is that Xavier should have taken this one without any issues against Wofford. Although the Musketeers are not picked to do much in the Atlantic-10 this season, this is not a difficult Terrier squad.
Then again, having the hot hand -- at least from long range -- worked. Karl Cochran shot 6-or-16 overall, but was 3 of 9 from behind the arc, and hit all five of his free throws, to lead Wofford with 20 points. Freshman Spencer Collins was 3-for-5 from long range for 17.