Saturday, November 15, 2014

Terriers fall behind, drop season opener at Stanford, 74-59

The Terriers started off the 2014-15 campaign with a contest against Stanford, shrouded in the shadows of Palo Alto, Calif., that started late on Friday evening and did not end until the morning hours of Saturday.

Wofford came out with a strong performance, spurred by Eric Garcia's three-pointer that opened the Terriers' scoring for the season, and wrestled early with the Cardinal, who were led by Stefan Nastic's twenty-six points. The score fluctuated throughout the first sixteen minutes of the half, changing hands often.

However, things started to lean in Stanford's favor during the final several minutes of the first half, when the Terriers began to display a general lack of security with ball handling. The Cardinal pulled away from the once-hotly contested match with a 13-3 run, allowing them to post a 36-27 lead at the half.

Jaylen Allen, who hit back-to-back three-pointers that gave Wofford some extra momentum near the end of the first half, led the club at halftime with eight points, while Spencer Collins was able to put up seven. Collins and Karl Cochran both grabbed a pair of rebounds.

However, foul trouble also became a factor affecting the Terriers' play in the first half, and five Wofford players went into the locker room with two fouls, including Cochran, Skinner, Gordon, Neumann, and freshman Cameron Jackson, who, along with fellow newcomer Derrick Brooks, logged some valuable playing time in the contest.

Stanford came out with full force in the second half, speedily extending the lead to as high as 54-34. As mentioned above, Stefan Nastic put up twenty-six points on the Terriers, leading the Cardinal squad. "He was just better than we were on this particular night," head coach Mike Young said.

Another woe affecting the Terriers were the sixteen turnovers committed. "Out of character for us," Young lamented. "We'll address that when we get back."

Karl Cochran ended the night with eleven points, going 4-for-12 on his shots (1-for-6 on three-pointers), while also logging five rebounds and five assists. Also putting up eleven points was Spencer Collins, who shot 4-for-10 (1-for-3 from the three-point arc). Eric Garcia logged six points (2-for-4, 2-for-3 three-pointers), had three assists, and stole the ball twice, while Lee Skinner put up six points as well (2-for-5), along with three assists and a pair of rebounds. C.J. Neumann, who rounds out the starting lineup, made one of two shots attempted, while proving to be tough and gritty on defense.

From the bench, Jaylen Allen relatively lit up the scorecard, shooting 4-for-7 (2-for-5 three-pointers) for a team-leading twelve points. Also making appearances were Justin Gordon, who had three rebounds and scored seven points, and John Swinton, who made two free throws. They, along with freshmen Derrick Brooks, Cameron Jackson, and Larry McKnight, Jr. -- who made his only shot attempted -- helped supplement the Terriers' valiant effort against a superior Stanford squad.

All in all, the Terriers shot 44.7% from the field (21-for-47) and 35% from the three-point arc (6-for-17), while making 73.3% of free throws attempted (11-for-15). Wofford's team steals and assists -- both fourteen on the night -- matched those marks put up by the Cardinal.

"We knew they were good," Young told Wofford/IMG Sports Network broadcasters following the conclusion of the game. "They were a little bit better than I thought they were, to be frank."

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