CHARLESTON, S.C. (Wofford SID) – The Wofford College men’s basketball team was able to hold on late to get a crucial 72-68 road win over The Citadel at McAlister Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon.
The Terriers trailed with 3:35 remaining in the second half, but were able to rally late for the second time this week and pick up a win. Clutch free throw shooting late in the game helped to seal the victory as a 68-66 lead with 24 second left turned into a 72-68 margin with senior B.J. Mack and freshman Jackson Paveletzke both going 2-2 from the line in the final 24 seconds.
Paveletzke’s free throws gave Wofford a 72-68 lead with only nine seconds left and a Corey Tripp steal would allow the Terriers to run out the clock on a 72-68 road win.
“That was awesome,” said interim head coach Dwight Perry. “We did a great job and the most important thing is that we talk, play hard, play together and communicate at a high level. Our guys did that and it was great to see them get a win.”
B.J. Mack led Wofford in scoring with 16 points and six rebounds. Jackson Paveltzke added 14 points and a game-high seven assists. Junior Kyler Filewich was also able to add 11 points and three rebounds off the bench to help the Terriers pick up the win.
“It was all about defense and getting stops,” said Mack. “We know that they wanted to focus on Steven Clark and Austin Ash. We knew coming down the stretch it was going to be one of those two who would take the shot in the big moments. We just came up with the defensive stops that we needed.”
Graduate senior Austin Ash led The Citadel and the game in scoring with 24 points. Ash scored all 24 points from three-pointers as he never attempted a two-pointer, shooting 8-of-16 from deep. Senior Stephen Clark added 12 points and three blocks but also committed seven turnovers, as The Citadel allowed 16 to Wofford’s nine on the day.
Wofford was able to get out to a quick start taking a 12-8 lead five minutes into the game. That lead would get up to 26-17 before Ash would make three consecutive three pointers along with graduate senior Elijah Morgan adding one to give the Citadel a 29-28 lead.
After trailing 31-29 the Terriers would end the half on an 8-2 run to take a 37-33 lead into the break.
The Bulldogs were able to keep the game close in the second half as Wofford never led by more than six. Though Wofford trailed by as many as two they were able to maintain the lead for almost all of the half.
With 3:18 left in the game The Citadel evened the score up at 61, before Mack made a lay-up and Paveletzke made a three to give Wofford a five-point lead. After a Clark lay-up was matched by a Tripp lay-up for the Terriers, Ash would add his eighth and final three of the day for a 68-66 margin.
After Mack made his free throws with 24 seconds to play to extend the Terrier lead to four, a Clark dunk would again cut that to two. Paveletzke would then be fouled and make both free throws before Tripp sealed the game with the steal.
“This was huge, this was a road win in a great league,” said Perry. “The only way you get these at this time of year is if everyone is pulling in the right direction, everybody’s bought in and everyone is pouring in mentally and physically to what they can do to help the team win. You saw that today, from guys who can score at a high level like Jackson Paveletzke and B.J. Mack. From guys getting big stops like Messiah Jones, Chase Martin and Jackson Sivills.”
Wofford will travel to Lexington, Virginia, to take on the Virginia Military Institute Keydets on Wednesday February 22 at 7 P.M. The game will be Wofford’s last road game of the regular season.
- Wofford shot 9-of-22 from three, while The Citadel shot 10-of-21 with Ash making eight of those ten for the Bulldogs.
- The Terriers out rebounded the Bulldogs 31-27.
- Wofford led in bench points 21-17 and in points off turnovers 19-9.