GARDNER-WEBB, N.C. (Wofford College) – The Wofford men’s basketball team picked up a 65-62 win over Gardner-Webb on Wednesday night at Paul Porter Arena. The game featured eleven lead changes and 14 ties, but the Terriers did not trail in the final six minutes to secure the win.
Wofford is 3-4 to open the season and Gardner-Webb is 4-5. The Terriers were led by Spencer Collins with 14 points, while Lee Skinner had eleven points and nine rebounds. The Runnin’ Bulldogs had 16 points from Tyrell Nelson and Donta Harper had a double-double with 13 points and ten rebounds.
“We practiced well this week,” said head coach Mike Young. “You get what you earn a lot of times and I knew we were going to play well since we practiced well. The kids have a lot of pride and we have not played very well in a couple of these games lately. It is December and time for some of these things to start coming together and we did that tonight. We had a lot of energy in everything we did and the guys were excited for each other. That was a fun team to watch tonight.”
The Runnin’ Bulldogs scored first but the Terriers had a 5-4 lead after a three pointer by Jaylen Allen with 16:45 on the clock. The game was tied at seven when Aerris Smith had a lay-up and free throw for a 10-7 lead with 14:04 remaining in the opening half. Gardner-Webb tied it at ten, twelve, and thirteen before two lay-ups by Lee Skinner gave Wofford a 17-13 lead at the 9:35 mark.
Gardner-Webb scored the next four points for a 17-17 tie with 7:37 left in the first half. Wofford had a two-point lead at 21-19, but the game was tied at 23 with four minutes remaining. Spencer Collins hit a three from the top of the arc to give the Terriers a 26-23 advantage at the 3:05 mark. The Runnin’ Bulldogs tied it at 26 with 1:40 left, which would prove to be the score at the halftime break.
To open the second half, Gardner-Webb hit a jumper and a three pointer for a 31-26 lead. A jumper by Spencer Collins and a three by Eric Garcia tied the game at 31 with 16:32 on the clock. After the Runnin’ Bulldogs took a 33-32 advantage, the Terriers had two free throws by Karl Cochran and a lay-up by Aerris Smith for a 36-33 lead after five minutes of play. Gardner-Webb scored the next four points for a 37-36 lead, but Wofford had a 42-41 advantage after a lay-up by Karl Cochran with 11:50 on the clock.
Six straight points by Gardner-Webb gave them a 47-42 lead at the 9:06 mark. Jaylen Allen hit two free throws to end the run and a three by Jaylen Allen tied it at 47 with seven minutes to go. Eric Garcia hit a three from the top of the arc for a 50-47 lead with 6:39 left on the clock. The 8-0 run for Wofford ended with a dunk by Gardner-Webb’s Donta Harper, but Spencer Collins had a bucket to keep the three point lead. A thunderous dunk by Justin Gordon pushed the Wofford lead to 55-49 with 4:10 left.
Spencer Collins gave the Terriers a 59-52 advantage, but the Runnin’ Bulldogs score the next four to make it 59-56 with two minutes remaining in the second half. Lee Skinner had a lay-up as the shot clock expired for a 61-56 lead, then Aerris Smith was all alone under the basket for a lay-up with less than a minute on the clock for a 63-56 advantage. After one made free throw by Karl Cochran, back-to-back threes for Tyler Strange made it a 64-62 score with 15 seconds left. Spencer Collins made one free throw and Wofford got the rebound on a missed three by the Runnin’ Bulldogs with four seconds left. Despite two missed free throws, Lee Skinner had the ball after a steal to secure the win.
Wofford shot 52.2% from the floor while Gardner-Webb shot 51.1% overall. The Terriers were 5-of-10 from with three, while the Runnin’ Bulldogs were 4-of-11 from behind the arc. Gardner-Webb was 12-of-20 from the line while Wofford was 12-of-25 on free throws. Wofford had a 31 to 28 lead on the glass. Wofford had 16 assists on the night.
Wofford returns home to face William & Mary on Saturday, December 7 at 2:00 p.m. in a contest that will be broadcast on ESPN3.
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