SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Wofford men’s basketball team jumped out early and took a 78-58 win over Chattanooga on Saturday night at Benjamin Johnson Arena. The Terriers shot 51.9% for the game and held the Mocs to 33.3% from the floor.
Wofford moves to 11-17 on the season and 5-10 in the Southern Conference. Chattanooga is 11-16 overall and 6-8 in the SoCon. The Terriers were led by Karl Cochran with a career-high 30 points, which included six three pointers. Jarell Byrd added 13 points and had seven rebounds to lead the team and set a career high. Indiana Faithfull had nine points and eight assists, plus three steals. The Mocs were led by Z. Mason with 24 points and Gee McGhee had 13 points and seven rebounds.
“Ball movement and player movement was a lot better tonight,” said head coach Mike Young. “When you get right down to it, it is an easy game when you do what you are supposed to do and hit people when they are open. We have at times made the thing hard, but tonight we made a bunch of easy plays and got the ball to people when they needed it. It helps when you get the ball in the basket, which makes things easier on the defensive end of the floor and every possession is not a complete grind. Our guys played very well.”
The Mocs opened the game with a three pointer, but Wofford took a 5-3 lead on a reverse lay-up and free throw by Indiana Faithfull with 16:02 on the clock. Wofford added a three pointer by Indiana Faithfull for a 10-6 lead and another three by Karl Cochran gave the Terriers a 13-8 lead with 13:10 left in the first half. A dunk by Jarell Byrd and a long jumper by Karl Cochran made it a 17-10 game at the 11:44 mark.
Chattanooga cut the score to 17-13 with a three pointer, but Karl Cochran answered with a three to make it 20-13 with 9:43 on the clock. Back-to-back long three pointers by Cochran gave Wofford a 26-15 advantage at the 7:42 mark and forced the Mocs to call a timeout. A quick four points by the Mocs cut the lead, but Wofford had a 32-21 lead with 4:44 left in the half after a pair of free throws by C.J. Neumann.
Jarell Byrd added a three pointer, followed by another bucket by a Karl Cochran for a 37-24 lead with three minutes left on the clock. Back-to-back three pointers by Taylor Wagener to end the half gave the Terriers a 45-27 lead at the break. Wofford was 55.2% from the floor and 57.1% from three in the first half.
To open the second half, Jarell Byrd hit two free throws for a 47-27 lead. The teams traded three pointers for a 50-30 score before the Mocs scored eleven straight points to make it 50-41 after five minutes of play. Wofford ended the run with a pair of free throws by Jarell Byrd and a bucket by Byrd. A dunk by Karl Cochran with 11:58 on the clock gave the Terriers a 58-43 lead.
Taylor Wagener hit his third three pointer of the night for a 61-45 lead. A dunk by Jarell Byrd and a bucket by Lee Skinner gave the Terriers a 66-49 advantage with 7:56 left in the second half. A three pointer from Karl Cochran pushed the score to 69-51 and a lay-up off a turnover by Cochran made it a 73-52 lead with 5:34 on the clock. Back-to-back lay-ups by Lee Skinner pushed the advantage to 77-54 with 3:47 remaining. The Terriers cleared the bench with two minutes left and took the 78-58 victory.
Wofford shot 51.9% from the floor while Chattanooga shot 33.3% overall. The Terriers were 11-of-22 from with three, while the Mocs were 5-of-22 from behind the arc. Chattanooga was 17-of-23 from the line while Wofford was 13-of-18 on free throws. The Mocs had a 35 to 28 lead on the glass. John Swinton missed the game due to injury and Spencer Collins left the game in the first half with an ankle injury.
Wofford will visit Georgia Southern on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. and then travel to the College of Charleston on Thursday, February 28. The regular season finale against The Citadel on Saturday, March 2 will be at Benjamin Johnson Arena.