Wofford captures men's SoCon title
by Staff Reports
ASHEVILLE - Wofford won the 94th Southern Conference Men's Basketball Championship on Monday, holding off Western Carolina in a thrilling 56-53 final at the U.S. Cellular Center.
It's the Terriers' third championship, all coming in the last five years.
Karl Cochran, the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, led Wofford with a game-high 23 points, including a 5-for-10 performance from 3-point range. He added five rebounds, four assists and four steals. Lee Skinner chipped in 11 points and eight boards.
Brandon Boggs paced the Catamounts with 17 points, six rebounds and two blocks. Tawaski King added 10 points and nine rebounds.
The Terriers built an 11-point lead in the second half. Jaylen Allen's layup at 8:43 made it 44-33 and capped seven unanswered points for the three seed.
Western chipped away at the lead. Six straight points from Boggs followed by a slam dunk from King got the Cats to within 46-43 with 4:13 to play.
It was still a three-point margin when Cochran struck from deep. His trey at 1:27 pushed the lead back to six, 51-45.
King's tip-in with just over 35 seconds remaining got the fifth-seeded Catamounts to within three again, 53-50. Four straight fouls on inbounds plays finally got Wofford to the bonus.
Spencer Collins stepped to the line and missed the front end of the one-and-one, but Skinner was there to grab the offensive rebound. He was fouled, and made one of two to make it a two-possession game with just under 30 seconds remaining.
Boggs came up big again. His 3-pointer with eight seconds left made it a one-point game again. Cochran was fouled on the inbounds play and sank two free throws with 5.3 seconds to play.
Wofford's win wasn't quite complete yet. After a Wofford timeout, Western's Trey Sumler pushed the ball up the court. He stopped, pump-faked to create space and got a decent look from 21 feet away from the basket.
It caromed off the rim, and Wofford claimed the win.
The Terriers capture the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. This year's field learns its seeding and travel plans at 6 p.m. on March 16. The selection show airs on CBS.
De'Mon Brooks, Davidson
Brandon Boggs, Western Carolina
James Sinclair, Western Carolina
Karl Cochran, Wofford
Lee Skinner, Wofford
Ashton Moore, The Citadel
Z. Mason, Chattanooga
Tawaski King, Western Carolina
Trey Sumler, Western Carolina
Eric Garcia, Wofford
Most Outstanding Player
Karl Cochran, Wofford