BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Wofford SID) – The No. 24-ranked Wofford men’s basketball team defeated Samford 85-64 on Saturday afternoon to complete a perfect 18-0 Southern Conference season, becoming the first SoCon team to finish the regular season unscathed since Stephen Curry’s Davidson squad ran the table in 2007-08 (20-0).
With its win over Samford, Wofford improves to 26-4 and has now won 17 games in a row while setting the program record for wins in a regular season, besting Mike Young’s 2014-15 squad which finished 25-6 heading into postseason play.
“That Davidson team was something special,” said Wofford head coach Mike Young. “I think I’ve got a pretty special team and we’ve still got more to accomplish.”
Senior guard Fletcher Magee scored a season-high 36 points, going 8-for-14 from 3-point range while totaling four rebounds, four assists and three steals. Nathan Hoover scored 17 points on four 3-pointers and Chevez Goodwin recorded his second double-double of the season, scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the win.
“We have incredible depth,” Young said. “Very few people can go to their bench like we can. We have 11 starters.”
“To have 18 conference games and nine tough road games and survive, not everyone is going to play well every time,” Magee said. “But if you have a lot of quality players and if you play defense and rebound those two things will always keep you in the game and to have the guys that we have throughout the lineup is huge.”
As a team, Wofford shot 48.5 percent from the field and 46.7 percent from 3-point range, committing just nine turnovers and forcing 15, holding Samford to 1-of-23 shooting from three.
“Some of that was us and some of that was them,” said Wofford assistant coach Kevin Giltner. “We did a great job of contesting stuff early and I think that’s big when you don’t let guys get going because they might be a little tepid later in the game.”
The Terriers got off to a slow start, putting Samford in the bonus just 10 minutes in and trailed the Bulldogs until Magee knocked down a pair of 3-pointers that put Wofford out in front 14-10.
After Magee hit another three from downtown, Tray Hollowell began to light it up, scoring the next eight points to give Wofford a 29-22 lead with under three minutes to play in the half. The Bulldogs closed with a 7-2 run but Magee’s 17th point of the period gave Wofford a two-point lead at the break.
“Tray carried us a little in the first half, said Young of Hollowell. “Those eight straight points were huge.”
Magee’s hot shooting continued in the second, opening up the half with his fourth three of the game. After Magee and Jackson each scored in the paint, the senior guard knocked down two more from downtown to give the Terriers an 11-point advantage.
Goodwin and Donovan Theme-Love would extend the Wofford lead to 15 as Goodwin scored six straight points, with Theme-Love grabbing a steal and finding Goodwin in transition twice to make the score 54-39 and force a Samford timeout.
“I thought Chevez Goodwin was just outstanding today,” Young said. “He played really well for us.”
From here, it was Hoover’s turn to light it up, draining three 3-pointers and a free throw to make the lead 20 (77-55). Hoover would knock down another three and Goodwin put the exclamation point on the game with a putback in the lane as Wofford completed its perfect SoCon regular season with the 21-point victory.
“This season’s been incredible,” Giltner said. “We followed the game plan and played together and connected just about as good as we had all season and that’s what it takes.”
Wofford, the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Southern Conference tournament, will play either the No. 8 or No. 9 seed on Saturday (3/9) at 12 p.m.
“We know that with us now being ranked, we’re going to get everybody’s best shot,” Magee said of the SoCon tournament. “We know they are going to be geared up, but we’re ready for it and we’re ready to give everyone our best shot.”