SPARTANBURG Winthrop dug a hole in the first half too big to overcome as it fell 70-55 at Wofford College, Wednesday evening in men's basketball non-conference action.
Wofford led by 23 points at the half, but Winthrop got hot midway through the second half and started to chip away at the lead. Winthrop cut the lead to as low as 13 points, but the hole was too big to climb out of as it falls to 2-3 on the year. Wofford improves to 3-5.
"We told our team in the locker room we're falling into that habit, the same thing happened against VCU," said Winthrop coach Pat Kelsey. "It takes us 20 minutes to get ourselves punched in the mouth and have a few teeth hanging out before we realize we're in a dogfight. I saw some guys in the huddle when we were down 22-24 points that maybe there was a little bit of embarrassment.
“I told them, we do not have the luxury to be the type of team who can come out and go through the motions and not being ready from the jump and dig ourselves an early hole. We did it against VCU, we did it again tonight. I think we showed a little bit of resolve bouncing back and playing hard there for some stretches but definitely, definitely not good enough."
Derrick Henry scored a team-high 15 points with 11 in the second half as he, along with Christian Farmer, led an effort to bring the Eagles back from the big deficit. Farmer scored all nine of his points in the second half.
The deficit was 21 points with just over eight minutes to play after a Farmer three-pointer. Over the next 4-5 minutes, Henry popped a couple of 3-pointers to cut the lead to 14 points with 3:52 left. After scorching the net in the first half, Wofford shot just 38 percent in the second half but managed to get a basket every time the Eagles tried to establish a run.
Winthrop trailed 42-19 at the break as Wofford College shot lights out at 62 percent while the Eagles struggled at 24 percent. Neither team shot the ball well to start the game as Winthrop opened up 1-for-8 and the Terriers were 1-for-6. However, the Terriers found their stroke first and hit their next seven shots.
Wofford finished at 49 percent as it managed 36 points in the paint and was led by Cochran's career-high 27 points as he was 10-for-14 from the field and 5-for-8 behind the arc.
The Eagles shot 38 percent for the game.
The Eagles visit James Madison on Saturday at 4 p.m. in Harrisonburg, Va.
• Keon Johnson of Mansfield, Ohio, has signed a national letter of intent, making him the third early signee for 2013-14 behind Duby Obeke and Josh Davenport.
Point guard Johnson is 5-8, 155-pounds and averaged 22.5 points, 2.9 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 2.0 steals as a junior at Mansfield High.
|WOFFORD 70, WINTHROP 55|
Percentages: FG .380, FT .800. 3-Point Goals: 5-21, .238 (Farmer 3-7, Henry 1-3, Gamble 1-5, Diop 0-1, Smith 0-2, Johnson 0-3). Team Rebounds: 4. Blocked Shots: 2 (Brown 2). Turnovers: 13 (Jerome 4, Smith 3, Brown 2, Bourne 2, Henry). Steals: 7 (Smith 2, Jerome 2, Brown, Gamble, Bourne). Technical Fouls: Bench.
Percentages: FG .491, FT .750. 3-Point Goals: 7-16, .438 (Cochran 5-8, Swinton 1-1, Collins 1-5, Skinner 0-1, Byrd 0-1). Team Rebounds: 7. Blocked Shots: 5 (Gordon 2, Byrd, Smith, Swinton). Turnovers: 10 (Swinton 3, Faithfull 2, Gordon, Hickson, Cochran, Smith, Byrd). Steals: 7 (Smith 3, Collins, Skinner, Cochran, Swinton). Technical Fouls: Cochran.
Att.–787. Officials–Ron Groover, Dan Stryffeler, Chuck Jones.