SPARTANBURG — The Wofford men’s basketball team picked up a 71-53 win over Georgia Southern on Saturday night at Benjamin Johnson Arena. The Terriers used a 15-1 run in the middle of the second half to take control of the game on the way to the conference victory.
Wofford moves to 7-9 on the season and 1-2 in the Southern Conference. Georgia Southern is 6-10 overall and 0-3 in the SoCon. The Terriers were led by Karl Cochran with 25 points and eight rebounds, while Lee Skinner had 17 points and 12 rebounds for his fourth double-double this season. Spencer Collins added ten points. The Eagles leading scorer was Tre Bussey with 12 points.
“These guys will give you everything that they have and they did another really nice job defensively tonight,” said head coach Mike Young. “We looked like a basketball team tonight and not an imposter. You get into some situations where you lose sight of what is effective. It is a long year and we have been on the road. You come back home and you are on your heels a little bit. We had great practices this week and great preparation and we look forward to heading over to Furman on Monday.”
The Terriers scored first and took an early 7-0 lead after a dunk by Justin Gordon just two minutes into the game. A three pointer by Jarell Byrd gave Wofford a 10-2 lead and Karl Cochran followed with a jumper for a ten-point advantage at the 14:00 mark. After Wofford had a 15-6 lead, the Eagles went on a 9-0 run and tied the game at 15 each with ten minutes left in the half.
Lee Skinner ended the run with a lay-up to take a 17-15 lead with 9:31 on the clock. Karl Cochran then hit two three pointers to give the Terriers a 23-19 lead with six minutes remaining in the half. Wofford continued the 10-2 run and had a 27-19 advantage after two free throws by Lee Skinner. After the Eagles hit a three, Indiana Faithfull answered with a three for a 30-22 lead at the 3:45 mark. Georgia Southern scored the next five points to cut the lead to 30-27 before Karl Cochran hit a long three with two minutes left in the half for a 33-27 advantage. Lee Skinner added a long jumper to give Wofford a 35-29 lead at the break.
To open the second half, Georgia Southern scored four straight points before Lee Skinner hit a lay-up for a 37-33 score ninety seconds into play. Karl Cochran added back-to-back jumpers to give the Terriers a 42-35 advantage at the 15:34 mark. A lay-up by Lee Skinner off a turnover and a three by Karl Cochran pushed the lead to 47-35 after seven minutes as part of a 10-0 run.
After taking the run to 12-0 after a jumper by Spencer Collins, the Terriers had a 49-35 lead. The Eagles ended the run with a free throw, but Wofford answered with a three by Karl Cochran to make it a 52-36 advantage. A floating lay-up by Jarell Byrd pushed the lead to 61-45 with 5:19 remaining in the game. Justin Gordon hit a jumper and a free throw for a 64-47 advantage at the 4:31 mark. Lee Skinner added a lay-up and free throw to take a 67-50 lead with just over three minutes left. The Terriers closed out the game for a 71-53 victory.
Wofford shot 45.0% from the floor while Georgia Southern shot 44.7% overall. The Terriers were 7-of-21 from with three, while the Eagles were 2-of-12 from behind the arc. Georgia Southern was 9-of-15 from the line while Wofford was 10-of-13 on free throws. Wofford had a commanding 38 to 26 lead on the glass. Senior Taylor Wagener started his first career game. Justin Gordon fouled out for Wofford.
Wofford will play the next three games on the road in just six days. The road trip begins on Monday night at Furman, followed by Wednesday night at UNCG and Saturday night at Elon. The next home game is Thursday, January 24 against Furman.