Wofford struggled mightily early in their contest against Charleston Southern on Wednesday, finding themselves down 17-7 nearly halfway through the first half. Karl Cochran was clearly off his game, Spencer Collins wasn't doing anything and Lee Skinner looked uninspired. Maybe that shouldn't have been surprising, given the dramatic fashion which Wofford came up with the win over North Carolina State on Sunday afternoon.
As the Terriers fought back in the first half, Cochran, Collins and Skinner remained surprisingly quiet. It has always been my stance that Wofford does not win games when Cochran and Collins aren't shooting well and Skinner isn't playing as the emotional leader. Wofford was up one at the half, but those three had combined to shoot 2 of 12 with nine points, five rebounds and three assists.
The second half played out differently. Those three shot 8 of 16 with nineteen points, ten rebounds and six assists in the second half leading to Wofford out to as much as an eleven point second half lead. When Charleston Southern took the lead back late, but Cochran and Collins made big shots down the stretch to help the Terriers win it by six.
It was the little things Cochran did tonight that was a major difference. He had a team high eight rebounds and also had five steals to go along with five assists. He only had nine points and made four of fifteen from the floor, including zero for seven from three point range. It was all the little ways Cochran contributed that made a huge difference in this game.
But the Terriers got contributions from other sources tonight. Eric Garcia and Jaylen Allen each scored in double figures. Allen had ten points off the bench, while Garcia led the Terriers in scoring with fourteen points. With Allen and Garcia helping out, the Terriers had just enough offense to win.
Saah Nimley, the Buccaneers best player, also shot just four of fifteen from the floor, but he scored a game high fifteen points. The 5'8" player also came up with eight rebounds. He clearly had an off night shooting the basketball, but he tried to will his team to victory down the stretch. He made a couple of deep threes late to help give Charleston Southern the lead with just over three minutes remaining. It just wasn't enough.
Charleston Southern plays at Colorado State on Monday night. The Buccaneers look like a middle of the pack or better team in the Big South.
Wofford tends to play games kind of like this. The games are low scoring and ugly contests. But the Terriers keep on finding ways to win those games. They are now 9-2 on the season. The Terriers have two ranked opponents left before SoCon play starts. Their first will be Monday at West Virginia. The second will be on New Year's Eve at Duke. If the Terriers can find a way to win one of those, they may well become one of the nation's darlings as this team races towards March.