One game is all the women’s basketball team needed to extend their season after three straight wins, two of which were by more than 20 points. They came into the SoCon tournament, hosted in Asheville, North Carolina, poised to continue their success.
The men’s team were winners of four of their last five games coming into the tournament, with Chattanooga as their first opponent.
Women’s basketball would take on Wofford in order to try and make it to the next round of the tournament.
The women took a 12 point leadings the first quarter, going into the second quarter leading 22-10. However, in the second quarter their offense was not able to produce as it did in the first quarter.
At the half, the Bucs’ once 12 point lead turned to six, with Wofford in a position to come back.
Defensively, the Bucs’ pressure was the reason for much of their success as they forced Wofford to commit 12 turnovers in the first half. The Bucs also did not allow Wofford to attempt a free throw in the first half.
The Bucs’ offense in the third was unable to score like they started the game, while Wofford got everything they wanted in the third quarter shooting 47 percent and making a few three-pointers.
Wofford took an eight-point lead going into the fourth quarter, putting pressure on the Bucs to play perfect. However, Wofford’s offense did not slow down from the third quarter, scoring 26 points.
The Bucs scored 25 points in the fourth quarter but their defense could not slow down Wofford. The Bucs lost 75-66, finishing the season with a 10-21 overall record and 8-6 in conference play.
For the men, the first round would see a different outcome than the women. They won their first game in the conference tournament against Chattanooga 68-64. After that, the men would turn their attention to the same foe that brought down the women, No. 1 seeded Wofford.
Offensively, the Bucs did not play as well in the first half as they needed to. The two things that stuck out in the first half were the 11 turnovers the Bucs committed and shooting below 40 percent from the field goal.
The lone bright spot for the Bucs was freshman Daivien Williamson (Winston-Salem, North Carolina) as he scored 12 points in the first half on four of five shooting.
“I am very proud of my team and they played extremely hard, they fought, and never gave in,” said Steve Forbes, head coach. “We just weren’t good enough, and that’s what I told them after the game. We had a really good team, but we weren’t special.”
Wofford led the first half 37-30 from shooting 57 percent from the field. With their season on the line, the Bucs knew they had to play their best basketball in the second half.
The effort the Bucs gave to get to the line in the second half was better. After just four attempts in the first half, the Bucs shot 21 free throws in the second half. However, the pair of Fletcher Magee and Cameron Jackson efficiency scoring for Wofford was like deja vu to the last time these two teams met in the regular season.
Despite fighting throughout the second half, Wofford won 81-72. Williamson finished with a team-high 17 points. While back-to-back SoCon Player of the Year Magee finished with 26 points.
The end of the SoCon Tournament for both teams came at the hands of the Terriers, but both teams will take some time to regroup before planning next year’s comeback.