SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Wofford College) – The Wofford men’s basketball needed overtime to come away with a 79-75 win over The Citadel on Thursday night at Benjamin Johnson Arena. The Bulldogs led by as many as eleven in the second half as they shot 62% from three, but the Terriers came back and tied the game with 35 seconds left in regulation. Wofford had a 9-5 advantage in overtime to earn the victory.
Wofford is 7-8 on the season and 2-1 in the Southern Conference. The Citadel is 4-13 overall and 0-2 in league play. The Terriers were led by Lee Skinner with a career-high 28 points and 13 rebounds to notch his third double-double of the season. Spencer Collins had 14 and Karl Cochran added 12 points for Wofford. Matt Van Scyoc led the Bulldogs with 22 points, as he was 6-of-7 from behind the arc, and he had seven rebounds.
“We were down by eleven in the second half and then we were able to get some air back under our wings,” said head coach Mike Young. “We were able to get the win, despite not doing some things very well. On the positive side we only turned the ball over seven times and outrebounded them by 14. Lee Skinner was exceptional tonight with 28 points and 13 rebounds. Now we need to turn our attention to Chattanooga on Saturday night.”
The Terriers opened the game with a pair of free throws by Indiana Faithfull. A long three pointer by Karl Cochran gave Wofford a 5-2 lead after three minutes of play. The Citadel answered with a three, but a jumper by Indiana Faithfull made it 7-5 at the 16:17 mark. The Bulldogs went on a 7-0 run to take a 12-7 lead with 13:35 on the clock. Lee Skinner ended the run with a lay-up, however another three pointer by The Citadel made it a 16-9 game after eight minutes.
Wofford cut the lead to 18-13 after a lay-up by Aerris Smith with 10:45 remaining in the first half. A tip-in by Lee Skinner made it an 18-15 score, but once again the Bulldogs answered with a three pointer and lay-up for a 23-15 lead with 8:29 on the clock. Wofford used a quick 6-0 run to cut the lead to 23-21 before another three pointer by the Bulldogs with six minutes to play. A short jumper by Justin Gordon made it a 26-23 game, however The Citadel scored four straight points for a 30-23 lead with four minutes left in the half. With 2:30 on the clock, Eric Garcia hit a three pointer for a 32-29 score. Justin Gordon hit the final basket of the first half to make it a 36-33 game.
To start the second half, Karl Cochran had a lay-up to make it a one-point game. A three by the Bulldogs pushed the lead back to 41-37 before a bucket by Lee Skinner. The Citadel hit yet another three for a 44-39 advantage. Lee Skinner cut the score to 46-44 with 16:30 on the clock. The Bulldogs then scored four straight points for a 50-44 lead until a pair of free throws by Karl Cochran at the 13:51 mark.
Again, the Bulldogs answered with a 7-0 run for their largest lead of the night at 57-46. Spencer Collins ended the run with a bucket and added a three to cut the score to 57-51 with 11:05 left in the second half. Lee Skinner had a lay-up and a tip-in by Justin Gordon made it a 60-57 game. At the 6:55 mark, Karl Cochran had a lay-up to make it a 62-61 score. Eric Garcia hit a three pointer to give Wofford a 66-65 lead with 4:16 remaining.
A free throw by the Bulldogs tied it at 66 and another gave them a one-point lead. C.J. Neumann put Wofford back up at 68-67 with 1:21 left in the game. The Citadel’s Matt Van Scyoc hit his sixth three-pointer of the game for a 70-68 lead with 50 seconds on the clock. Karl Cochran tied it at 70 with a shot from the corner with just 31 seconds left. The Citadel’s last shot attempt missed and the game headed to overtime.
Spencer Collins hit back-to-back shots to give Wofford a 74-70 lead early in the overtime period. The Citadel answered with a three pointer and Lee Skinner hit two free throws for a 76-73 lead with 2:23 left in overtime. Following a Bulldog basket, Karl Cochran made a free throw for a 77-75 advantage. The Citadel missed two free throws with 14.5 seconds left and Spencer Collins came down with the rebound. He was fouled and made one free throw for a 78-75 lead with 13.2 on the clock. The Bulldogs put up a three with two seconds left, but Lee Skinner pulled down the rebound. He was fouled and made one free throw with 0.2 seconds on the clock for the 79-75 final score.
Wofford shot 49.2% from the floor. The Citadel shot 54.9% overall. The Terriers were 3-of-10 from with three, while the Bulldogs were 10-of-16 from behind the arc. The Citadel was 9-of-19 from the line while Wofford was 14-of-19 on free throws. The Terriers had a 39 to 25 advantage on the glass and only committed seven turnovers.
It was the first overtime game of the season for Wofford. The last time Wofford won an overtime game was on November 21, 2010 against George Mason. The Terriers have now won 13 of the last 14 meetings against The Citadel.
The Terriers will travel to Chattanooga on Saturday for a 7:00 p.m. game. In an odd twist of scheduling, Wofford will host Chattanooga on Saturday, January 18 at Benjamin Johnson Arena.