You’ve read the recap. Now, let’s go inside the numbers on Wofford’s wire-to-wire victory over SoCon co-leader Furman.
- The first number set the tone for the game. Wofford started the game on a 12-0 run, with forward Chevez Goodwin scoring 10 of those 12 points. Goodwin commented after the game on the importance of setting the tone early against the Terriers’ regional rival.
“Every team wants to come out with a great start, and we did that tonight, and I’m glad we did. We just kind of honed into our scouting report, ran our plays to perfection, and before you knew it, we were up 10 points. I was just happy with where we were at, and we just kept going.” – Goodwin
- Goodwin also commented to me on the value of the win, acknowledging that, while every win counts the same, Friday’s result proved quite large in the grand scheme of things.
“It’s a big momentum shifter. Every win matters, especially in this league, because if you lose one game, you might (go) from first to sixth just like that. I’m glad we got this win tonight, and we’ve just gotta look on to the next game.” – Goodwin
To prove Goodwin’s point, here are the current standings:
The SoCon has an outstanding reputation among mid-major leagues, and it’s not hard to see why. The top of this league is as stacked as any at this level, and wins are to be held at a premium. If Wofford had slipped here — especially after a loss at Chattanooga Wednesday — the Terriers could have been in the danger zone.
- Zero is a number that doesn’t seem impressive on its face. However, let’s dive a bit further into the circumstances. Wofford guard Ryan Larson played just 13 minutes Friday, and did not score. In fact, he didn’t even take a shot. He only played those 13 minutes, though, because he was getting his nose tended to. The same nose he broke a while back in practice, was wearing a mask to protect, and the nose he broke again Friday night. Larson also suffered a concussion while taking a charge against Duke, then returned for the Chattanooga game Wednesday. So, what was Larson’s first action when he returned to the floor after getting his nose put back in place? Naturally, he took a charge.
“I got clipped by somebody, and they went under the mask that I was wearing. They hit the nose perfectly … They gave me something that kind of took the pain away a little bit. They said it was my choice (to return). In a game like this, it’s hard not to come back and play with your teammates. That was the only choice that I could make … That’s (taking the charge) what Coach needs, that’s what the team needs. I love doing it. I won’t stop doing it.” – Larson
“Oh my gosh. Ryan Larson is just a tough guy. Unbelievable. The definition of tough. He took a charge after sitting out and getting hit in the first half. He’s played through that, (and) he’s wearing a mask. He’s practicing hard every day. He’s an everyday guy. He brings that savviness, that energy, that taking charge, that defensive leadership to our team. It’s so special, and it makes me fired up. All the other guys love to be with a guy like that … I was surprised it was that long (the two minutes to take the charge). As soon as he did it — I was right behind him, (and) I knew it was a charge — and as soon as it was happening, I was thinking, ‘This dude just took a charge with a rebroken nose,’ after two minutes back in. It was awesome. It got us really excited. – Wofford guard Storm Murphy
“Tough dude, man. Sticks is a tough dude. You don’t earn the name Sticks for nothing, man. Ryan is a tough dude, man. I love him. I love being out there with him. He’s my guy. He’s my road dog. I wouldn’t wanna play with anybody else. Sticks is a tough dude. I love him so much, man.” – Goodwin
- Furman guard Jordan Lyons was almost completely neutralized by the highly active Wofford defense. Lyons was 0-for-8 from the floor (0-for-5 from distance), and scored his five points on 5-for-8 from the charity stripe. The numbers for Lyons in Furman’s wins and losses are quite illustrative.
- In Furman’s five league wins: 37-for-72 (22-for-45 from three), 51.4% FG, 115 points
- In Furman’s two league losses: 2-for-15 (0-for-9 from three), 13.3% FG, 14 points
- Perhaps the most important number was 3,400. A standing-room-only crowd packed the Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium for this regional rivalry game, and the players fed off the energy from the fans.
“The sixth man stuff — I don’t wanna be cliche — but it’s such a huge boost for our guys. We’ve got the students up, the Spartanburg community’s going nuts, the suites are rocking … I mean, how loud did it get in here the last five minutes of the game? That’s a huge energy deal, and a home court advantage that we’ve gotta take advantage of whenever we play a home game. Our guys have played on the highest stage this year and in previous years. They’re used to all the TV stuff. When we have the crowd up like that, it’s a game-changer. It was tonight.” – Wofford coach Jay McAuley
And now, to the Hustle Stats:
- Points off Turnovers: Wofford 15, Furman 6
- McAuley commented to me after the game about the significance of the turnover difference.
Against a veteran team and a disciplined team like they have, you had a pretty significant advantage in points off turnovers for the most part tonight. How important is it not only to force those miscues but to convert them?
MCAULEY: “Have to. You have to force turnovers. That’s probably one of the things we don’t do the best. We’re leading the league in effective field goal percentage defense, but we’re one of the worst in turning people over. Our message of being more active on the ball — they’re a rhythm team, so if we can disrupt their timing a little bit, it leads to turnovers, (and it) led to enough easy baskets. I thought that was a huge difference in the game.”
To that end, Wofford parlayed the 14 Furman turnovers it forced into those 15 points. Furman forced 11 Wofford turnovers, but only managed the six points.
- Points in the paint: Wofford 30, Furman 20
- Goodwin had 10 of those paint points before the first media. Considering Furman’s interior defense and ability to cut on multiple levels on offense, this is a significant win for the Terriers.
- Second-chance points: Wofford 11, Furman 6
- Wofford had five offensive rebounds. Five. Those boards clearly could not have been any better capitalized. Furman also converted quite well on the three offensive caroms it snagged, as the numbers show.
- Fast-break points: Furman 6, Wofford 6
- Bench points: Furman 15, Wofford 12
- 13 of those 15 Paladin bench points came from guard Mike Bothwell. Bothwell played north of 30 minutes off the pine, and continued his success of late.
WOFFORD 66, FURMAN 52
FURMAN (15-5, 5-2 SOCON): Gurley 7-9 0-0 15, Slawson 0-5 0-0 0, Mounce 4-10 0-0 9, Hunter 3-6 0-0 8, Lyons 0-8 5-8 5, Bothwell 5-9 0-0 13, Clark 1-3 0-2 2, Pugh 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-51 5-10 52.
WOFFORD (12-7, 4-2): Goodwin 8-13 2-2 18, Murphy 4-11 0-0 8, Hoover 7-10 0-0 17, Larson 0-0 0-0 0, Stumpe 4-8 0-0 11, Hollowell 1-6 0-0 3, Theme-Love 1-4 0-1 2, Bigelow 1-3 0-0 3, Jones 2-2 0-0 4, Richardson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-57 2-3 66.
Halftime — Wofford 34-18. 3-Point Goals—Wofford 8-22 (Murphy 0-1, Hoover 3-6, Stumpe 3-6, Hollowell 1-4, Theme-Love 0-2, Bigelow 1-3), Furman 7-28 (Gurley 1-3, Slawson 0-2, Mounce 1-6, Hunter 2-5, Lyons 0-5, Bothwell 3-5, Clark 0-1, Pugh 0-1). Fouled Out —NA. Rebounds — Wofford 29 (Goodwin 7), Furman 25 (Bothwell 5). Assists —Wofford 15 (Murphy 6), Furman 10 (Hunter 4). Total Fouls — Furman 11, Wofford 10. Technical —Goodwin (WOF). A —3400.