SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Despite 37 points from guard Fletcher Magee, the Wofford men’s basketball team was ousted from the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament as Central Michigan emerged victorious, 98-94, in an offensive shootout on Friday night in Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium.
With the loss, Wofford’s season ends at 21-13 and the Terriers record their best finish since the 2014-15 NCAA tournament team. Central Michigan improves to 21-14 and advances to the quarterfinals of the CIT.
Magee led all scorers in the game, with no other player tallying more than 22. The junior finished 12-for-20 from the floor, including 8-for-14 from 3-point range and 5-for-6 from the free-throw line. The 37 points moved Magee past Ian Chadwick for eighth in program history in points scored. Magee finishes the season with 751 points, pushing him past Daddy Neal (1951-52) for Wofford’s single-season scoring record by a mere point.
Magee has made a 3 in 52 straight games and entered the contest tied for 11th in NCAA history for 3s made in a season. However, thanks to eight on Friday night, Magee slid in to fifth with 148 made on the year. His 148 is second in SoCon history, trailing only Davidson’s Steph Curry, the NCAA record-holder with 162.
Cameron Jackson followed with 22 points, one short of his season high. He shot 69 percent (9-for-13) in the game and led the team with nine rebounds, just one shy earning of his fourth double-double of the season. Nathan Hoover was the third Terrier in double figures as the sophomore finished with 16 points on 6-for-11 shooting. Storm Murphy dished out a career-high nine assists in 31 minutes of play.
Central Michigan started the game with back-to-back turnovers but scored on five of the next six possessions. The run began with 3s from Josh Kozinski and David Dileo before a steal for Kevin McKay led to a breakaway dunk. Another 3, this time by Luke Meyer, pushed the Chippewas out to a quick 17-6 lead just four and a half minutes into the game. A layup by Jackson and a 3 by Magee pulled Wofford within six, but the next two Chippewa possessions again resulted in 3s and helped keep the lead in double digits. Trailing 25-15, Wofford used a 5-0 run to make it 25-20, but Kozinksi responded with a 3 to give the Chips an eight-point edge.
Wofford trailed 33-26 with 7:28 to go, but three free throws by Magee and a 3 by Hoover cut the Chippewas’ lead to one. Central Michigan held on to the lead for the next five minutes, but Wofford earned its third lead of the half and first since 18:23 when Magee nailed a 3 with 17 seconds to go. The Terriers held on to the 42-41 advantage.
Though the first half featured only four lead changes, the second half included eight ties and nine lead changes. Hoover opened the second half with a 3 to give Wofford the four-point lead. The Terriers held on to a lead until the Chippewas tied it at 50 with 16:25 left. The teams traded baskets until back-to-back 3s by Magee and Hoover put Wofford in front 65-60. Central Michigan tied it at 65 with 11:24 to go, and neither team led by more than three for the next six minutes of play. Down 77-75 with 6:21 to go, Wofford used an 8-0 run to jump out to an 83-77 lead. Jackson made a layup and Magee and Murphy followed with 3s to ignite the swing,
However, the Chippewas wouldn’t go away and responded with a 10-0 run to retake an 87-83 lead with 3:09 to go. A 3 by Trevor Stumpe and a free throw by Jackson erased the difference and tied it at 87. Cecil Williams hit a 3 with 47 seconds left and put the Chippewas up three. Stumpe made one of two free throws, but Williams then made two at the charity stripe to extend the lead to four. McKay added two free throws down the stretch. Trailing 94-88, Magee hit his seventh 3 of the contest with 15 seconds to go and Wofford called a timeout down three.
A foul by Jackson out of the timeout put Williams back on the line for Central Michigan and he nailed both to go up 96-91. Magee hit his final 3 of the game and second in 15 seconds with 1 second left to cut the lead to two, but Wofford fouled on the inbounds and McKay sank both to give Central Michigan the four-point win.
Wofford shot 54 percent in the contest, while Central Michigan was 49.3 percent from the floor. Both teams, too, shot well from 3 as the Terriers shot 48.4 percent and the Chippewas followed at 44.7 percent. Central Michigan, second in the NCAA in free-throw percentage, finished a perfect 15-for-15 from the line, while Wofford shot 68.8 percent (11-for-16).
The Terriers had 24 assists, the third-most this season, on 34 makes, and committed just nine turnovers. The Chippewas also protected the ball and tallied 23 assists on 33 makes and eight turnovers. The back-and-forth contest featured 13 lead changes and eight ties.
Wofford returns all five starters and graduates just one senior, guard Derrick Brooks.