GAME NOTES: The Wofford Terriers will attempt to extend their season-long winning streak on Thursday evening, as they are set to take on the Georgia Southern Eagles at Benjamin Johnson Arena in a Southern Conference bout.
Georgia Southern had been losers of three straight prior to its current two- game winning streak, as it defeated The Citadel at home on Jan. 30 (83-52) before downing UNC Greensboro on the road on Saturday (64-62). The Eagles' upswing has allowed it to improve to 11-12 overall and 4-4 in the league, but they are still just 3-8 away from home.
Wofford has surged above .500 (11-10) thanks to its four-game winning streak, with its most recent win coming in dominant fashion versus Samford on Saturday, 77-58, to improve to 6-3 on its home floor. The Terriers are now 6-3 in the SoCon, good for third place behind Chattanooga (9-1) and Davidson (8-1).
After 46 all-time meetings, each side has taken down 23 wins. Wofford won two of three matchups last season, but Georgia Southern bested the Terriers in the first round of the SoCon Tournament, 60-44.
Locked up in a tight battle with UNCG over the weekend, Georgia Southern took a one-point lead with 8:54 left on a Brian Holmes layup, and while its lead never grew to larger than five points down the stretch, it also never surrendered the advantage. It shot only 39 percent from the floor but earned extra possessions by dominating the rebounding battle, 39-28. Jelani Hewitt was off the mark from the field (6-of-21) but he drained all seven of his free throws and finished with 23 points and five assists. Kyle Doyle tallied a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds and Tre Bussey netted 12.
The Eagles boast a solid scoring offense this season, putting up 73.5 ppg, but they unfortunately allow their opponents to keep pace on the other end of the floor (71.7 ppg). Their lackluster free-throw percentage (.667) often comes back to haunt them in close games. Hewitt is the SoCon's most prolific scorer with 20.4 ppg, having drained 63-of-167 from 3-point range (.377) and 119- of-140 at the foul line (.850). Bussey is a strong second option with 16.8 ppg on greater than 45 percent field-goal shooting, while Angel Matias (7.9 ppg, 6.9 rpg) patrols the paint.
The Terriers opened up a commanding 21-point halftime lead over Samford their last time out and put the game on cruise control from there, as they outshot the Bulldogs from the field, 51.6 percent to 42.6 percent, and outrebounded them by a 42-30 margin. Spencer Collins paced the balanced attack with 16 points to go with seven rebounds. Karl Cochran scored 14 points, Jaylen Allen poured in 12 off the bench and Lee Skinner registered nine points and 10 rebounds.
Wofford has displayed a lackluster scoring offense this season, posting just 67.0 ppg on less than 44 percent from the field, but it has turned things around on its current winning streak, averaging 74.5 ppg over the last four outings. Luckily its outstanding scoring defense (64.8 ppg) has been consistent throughout the campaign. Karl Cochran (14.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and Spencer Collins (14.0 ppg) split the duties as the team's go-to scoring option, with Cochran having drained 42 3-pointers at a 39.3 percent clip. Skinner acts as an anchor in the frontcourt with 10.8 ppg and 8.6 rpg.
Georgia Southern has been surging of late and even conquered a rare road victory last week, but Wofford has been red-hot and should be able to keep its momentum going on its home floor.
Game Date and Time