It's mighty refreshing to be able to look back on a victory--especially after just suffering a crushing defeat at the hands of The Citadel--and the Terriers' effort against Western Carolina on Saturday evening made it that much better to reflect upon. With its largest SoCon margin of victory as of yet, Wofford advanced to 5-1 in conference play in a nineteen-point dismissal of the visiting Catamounts.
It didn't start well, though; in fact, both squads gave a rather rusty impression throughout the first half of play. Although Western Carolina shot just 27 percent from the field, the Terriers failed to do much better, putting up marks of 33 percent overall and a mere 18 percent from long distance. This, of course, was a large factor that kept the Catamounts on the home team's heels before halftime--a point that saw a 24-17 Wofford advantage.
This was the third consecutive contest in which John Swinton got the start in place of Eric Garcia, who is nursing jaw and ankle injuries. The Mt. Pleasant, S.C., native is doing an impressive job of holding down the fort--he dished four assists, an integral part of the effort--while the starting point guard is aiming to get back in working order once again. He's just another part of the big picture, which has been frankly dominated in recent outings by Karl Cochran.
Cochran, however, came out ice cold on Saturday--likened to most anyone on the court--going 1-7 from the field and 0-5 from behind the three-point arc. Lee Skinner was one of a few to find some relative success, leading the outfit with eight points at the half. The senior finished with thirteen points and a useful eleven boards--both superlative marks.
Spencer Collins grabbed eight rebounds himself, three of the offensive variety, while C.J. Neumann, who logged twenty-six minutes yesterday--by far the most of any bench player--grabbed six from his forward spot. One solid bright spot would have to be the promise of Derrick Brooks, a freshman who, along with Cameron Jackson, is earning some valuable playing time.
Both squads coughed up the ball eleven times--for Wofford, that's up from the seven turnovers committed in the three-point setback to The Citadel earlier this week. The good news is, the Terriers didn't allow the game to slip away from them in this one; in fact, Western Carolina never led throughout the entire contest. Also, the nineteen-point victory shows that Wofford refuses to let a loss get inside their heads--in my book, they're still tops in the Southern Conference.