SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Wofford men’s basketball team tipped off its 2019-20 season on Monday, as first-year head coach Jay McAuley guided the Terriers to an 86-63 victory over Erskine at the Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium.
Wofford led by just five points at the break, but the trio of Nathan Hoover, Chevez Goodwin and Isaiah Bigelow, who combined for 37 points in the second half, pushed Wofford to the comfortable 23-point victory.
“It was a good second half,” said McAuley. “I was really proud of how our guys came out to start. We talked about trying to set the tone defensively, and we did that.”
Wofford had five players reach double figures in scoring, led by Hoover’s 18 points and career-high eight rebounds. Goodwin and Bigelow each went for 14 points, while Trevor Stumpe and Tray Hollowell totaled 10. The Terriers picked up where they left off from last season, shooting 55.8 percent from the floor and 46.4 percent from 3-point range. Wofford forced 20 turnovers on the night, turning them into 27 points while getting 29 from its bench.
“It started in the summer for us,” Hoover said. “After all that work, all those practices and everything else, we’re just very excited to get out here and start the season with a win.”
Stumpe starting things off for Wofford, scoring the first eight points of the game off a pair of 3-pointers and a bucket in the paint. Erskine climbed back into the contest, but the three ball continued to fall for Wofford, with Ryan Larson and Hollowell connecting from downtown, before Goodwin slammed it home to make the score 16-11. The Terriers struggled a bit from the floor but went into the break up six after threes from Bigelow and Storm Murphy.
“Everybody on night one was a little jittery and wanting to score and hit home runs, but we talk about hitting singles as much as we can, and once we did that, I think you saw us be ourselves in the second half.”
Hoover began to take over right out of the gate in the second, scoring nine points to push the lead to 10. Bigelow then made his impact felt, providing Wofford with the bench scoring it needed by knocking down two treys and draining three free throws as the lead ballooned to 22.
From here, Hoover and Goodwin salted the game away, combining for 26 second half points as the Terriers grabbed the 86-63 win.
“I think we need to do a better job on the offensive rebounding and do better about allowing buckets in transition, but we needed to play somebody else like we did tonight, McAuley said. “Really proud of our guys to come out with a win, and we’re looking forward to Saturday.”
The Terriers remain home, with High Point traveling to Spartanburg on Saturday for a 7 p.m. tip.