SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Wofford SID) – A Storm Murphy 3-pointer with 18 seconds left lifted Wofford to a 59-54 victory over Furman at Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium on Saturday night. With the victory, Wofford continues its historic start, moving to 15-4 overall and a perfect 7-0 in Southern Conference play.
“It was a game that came down to the wire and we were able to make one more play,” said Wofford head coach Mike Young. “Storm Murphy made a huge basket for us.”
Fletcher Magee led Wofford with 22 points in the game, drawing the attention of the Paladin defense to help set up Murphy’s game-clinching shot. Cameron Jackson and Nathan Hoover each scored seven while Murphy and Matthew Pegram totaled six in the win.
Eight different Terriers scored in the game as Wofford outrebounded Furman 35-31, shooting 38.9 percent from the floor and holding the Paladins to 31.1 percent from the field and 25.9 percent from beyond the arc.
“Our team guarded really well. To limit them to 35 percent from the field is outstanding. I’m proud of our team.”
The Terriers came out of the gates firing, getting back-to-back 3-pointers from Murphy and Magee. The game would prove to be neck-and-neck the rest of the way, each team answering throughout the first period and neither team holding more than a five-point advantage at any point during the game.
Furman forward Matt Rafferty was an impact player all night, giving the Paladins a five-point advantage with 30 seconds left in the first, hitting two free throws, a layup and finding teammate Andrew Brown for a 3-pointer as the Paladins looked to carry momentum into the break. Just as Furman looked like it would establish some breathing room, Tray Hollowell hit a three before the buzzer that made the deficit just two (38-28) at half.
“Tray has played well for us for quite some time now,” Young said. “He’s got a great feel for the offense, and we have great trust in him and he did a great job tonight.”
Hoover quickly tied the game at 30-30 in the second as Wofford gained momentum, taking a five-point lead with 11:15 to play after a pair of buckets from Magee
made the score 40-35. The Paladins would knot the score up at 41 apiece as the two sides matched each other bucket-for-bucket down the stretch.
Magee drilled the 423rd three of his career (8th all-time NCAA career 3-pointers) as Wofford went ahead by two with 3:25 left to play. Once again, Rafferty delivered for the Paladins, knocking down two free throws and converting a layup in the lane to make the score 54-52 in favor of Furman.
Jackson would answer in the paint to make the score even at 54 with time winding down. The Terriers forced a missed 3-pointer and the next trip down the floor, Murphy found himself near the top of the key behind the 3-point line and drained it to put Wofford on top by three.
“It was a great call from the coaches,” Murphy said. “With that dribble handoff between Fletcher and I, the defense has to choose who to go with. They went with Fletcher a bit and I saw I had a clean look so I shot it.”