You’ve read the recap. Now, let’s go inside the numbers on Saturday’s Gardner-Webb/Wofford contest.
- Perimeter play has been a concern for Gardner-Webb at times thus far, both offensively and defensively. Saturday, the Runnin’ Bulldogs knocked down just 5-of-24 three-pointers, while Wofford hit 11-of-29. A number of Wofford’s made threes came on contested looks, late in the possession, and at times when Gardner-Webb was trying to get back in the game. Both coaches had thoughts after the game on the influence of the perimeter.
“We (were) trying to contest every shot. We (were) trying to not give up open looks. We want to close out the guys, and also be able to keep them in front. Sometimes, when you just run them off the line, then they get in the paint, and they end up with an even better shot. Our focus was certainly trying to close out with high hands, (and) take that space when we close out, and get to those guys. They made 11 tonight, so that probably wasn’t good enough. (Forward Trevor) Stumpe hit some big ones. We’ve gotta do a better job of that. That’s something we’ve done well. We’ve guarded the three-point line well this year, but we didn’t do a particularly good job of it tonight.” – Gardner-Webb coach Tim Craft
“I was (happy). I wish we could have knocked down the ones that were a little more easy. With Wofford, sometimes we tend to do that. We tend to make the really, really difficult ones. (Guard) Ryan’s (Larson) went in and out three times, and (we had) a couple back-iron ones. We’re gonna keep shooting, and we’re gonna keep sharing the ball. I’d like to see our assist numbers go up a little bit more, (and) they will, if we knock some of those down. For the most part, we made enough to win the game, and that’s all that counts.” – Wofford coach Jay McAuley
- Wofford forward Messiah Jones and guard Tray Hollowell put up strong nights off the bench. As we mentioned in the recap, those two were responsible for all 34 of the Terriers’ bench points. Jones poured in 18 points and hauled in seven boards in 24 minutes of play, largely in relief of forward Chevez Goodwin. Goodwin himself tallied eight points and three boards, despite being limited to just over 15 minutes due to foul trouble and the lingering effects of back spasms he has battled all year.
“I felt like it (Jones’ time of learning and being a reserve) all paid off. Watching (former forwards) Cam (Jackson) and Matt Pegram, they taught me a lot. They taught me how to move the ball around, they taught me how to screen, they taught me a lot of things. I put it into my game. It really worked out.” – Jones
- Jones also came up big in helping to slow down Gardner-Webb’s success in the paint. The Runnin’ Bulldogs jumped out to a 12-0 advantage on points in the paint, and even though Gardner-Webb finished with a significant advantage in that category, the Terriers were able to stem the tide a bit.
“We switched our defense a little bit. We played a little bit of 2-zone to slow them down. They started getting easy layup buckets on us, so we just came together, communicated, and talked about what we needed to do, got our gaps corrected, and it all worked out.” – Jones
“We got too spread out early in the game, and that was the thing that we wanted to prevent.” – McAuley
- This is not necessarily a number, but the storyline is quite compelling. Wofford coach Jay McAuley was an assistant at Gardner-Webb from 2010-2013, as we mentioned in the game story. Wofford assistants Paul Hemrick and Adam Sweeney also have ties to Gardner-Webb and Craft’s staff. Hemrick served as an assistant to Craft for six seasons, while Sweeney was a walk-on player at Gardner-Webb under both prior coach Chris Holtmann and Craft, then served as a graduate assistant under Craft from 2015-2017. Both coaches — obviously — had thoughts on this subject after the game.
“I’ve got the most respect for their staff and their program. I love what their school’s about, and we’ve got a lot of connections with our coaching tree. They’re gonna win a lot of ballgames, and it’s kind of one of those regional games that just makes sense. Sometimes you play friends, and guys you really respect. They clearly know us, and we know them a little bit. I think you saw that. Hats off to them and their program. They’ve got a good outfit, for sure.” – McAuley
“We’ll play them next year. We’ve got a two-year deal with them. It was great to see Paul, and great to see Adam Sweeney, who was a great player for us as a walk-on, and a leader in our program. It was great to see those guys. Certainly, Jay spent some time at Gardner-Webb. All those guys mean a lot to us, and a lot to our coaching staff, and a lot to some of our players. We wish all those guys and Wofford nothing but the best. Certainly, it could be a game that we could continue to play.” – Craft
- Finally, the Hustle Stats:
- Points in the Paint: Gardner-Webb 42, Wofford 28
- Points off Turnovers: Gardner-Webb 12, Wofford 10
- Second-Chance Points: Gardner-Webb 11, Wofford 10
- Fast-Break Points: Wofford 5, Gardner-Webb 0
- Bench Points: Wofford 34, Gardner-Webb 18
WOFFORD 81, GARDNER-WEBB 77
GARDNER-WEBB (3-6): Dufeal 4-8 4-7 12, Cornwall 3-9 0-0 6, Jamison 9-16 2-5 22, Perez 5-13 3-3 14, Johnson 2-7 5-5 10, Reid 1-1 2-2 4, Jenkins 1-3 0-0 2, Turner 2-2 0-1 4, Terry 1-3 0-0 3, Bryant 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-62 16-23 77.
WOFFORD (5-4): Goodwin 4-6 0-0 8, Murphy 5-8 3-3 16, Hoover 3-11 0-0 7, Larson 0-3 2-2 2, Stumpe 5-9 0-0 14, Jones 6-8 6-7 18, Hollowell 5-9 3-4 16, Bigelow 0-1 0-0 0, Richardson 0-1 0-0 0, Theme-Love 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-56 14-16 81.
Halftime — Wofford 48-37. 3-Point Goals—Gardner-Webb 5-24 (Dufeal 0-1, Cornwall 0-5, Jamison 2-3, Perez 1-7, Johnson 1-3, Jenkins 0-2, Terry 1-3), Wofford 11-29 (Murphy 3-4, Hoover 1-8, Larson 0-2, Stumpe 4-7, Hollowell 3-7, Bigelow 0-1). Fouled Out — NA. Rebounds —Wofford 33 (Jones 7), Gardner-Webb 27 (Dufeal/Jamison/Perez 5). Assists —Wofford 13 (Murphy 5), Gardner-Webb 9 (Cornwall/Johnson 3). Total Fouls —Wofford 17, Gardner-Webb 15. Technical — NA. A —1,389.