Men's Championship: #1S Wofford 56, #1N Appalachian State 51
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Cameron Rundles scored 20 points, and the Wofford defense held Appalachian State to 29 percent shooting from the field to hold off the Mountaineers 56-51 in the Southern Conference Men's Basketball Tournament Championship game in Time Warner Cable Arena Monday night.
Wofford secures the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. It will be the Terriers' first NCAA Tournament appearance since moving to Division I in 1995-96.
Noah Dahlman posted 10 points and eight rebounds for the Terriers (26-8), and Tim Johnson corralled a game-high 13 rebounds. Jamar Diggs scored nine points and Junior Salters added eight.
Andre Williamson collected 12 points and 12 rebounds to lead Appalachian State (22-12), and Ryann Abraham scored 11. Donald Sims finished with nine points and seven rebounds.
After leading by 18 points early in the second half, the Terriers had to hold off a furious rally by the Mountaineers. ASU held Wofford to 6-of-25 shooting from the floor in the second half, but could never really get going offensively and went 15-for-52 for the game.
Appalachian State had a chance to cut into a four-point Wofford lead late, but Sims, who went 2-for-15 from the field, missed a 3-pointer. Wofford's Terry Martin got the rebound and was fouled. The junior made both free throws to push the margin to 51-45 with 45.6 seconds remaining, and after Abraham made a layup for the Apps, ASU was forced to play the foul game.
Rundles and Loesing combined to go 3-for-4 from the foul line in between a Williamson dunk for ASU. With Wofford leading 54-49, Rundles stole an Abraham pass and was fouled with 19 seconds left. Rundles made 1-of-2 free throws to put the game out of reach.
Junior Salters hit a triple 32 seconds into the second half to put the Terriers up 36-18 and had a chance to add to the lead when he was fouled on another 3-point try. He missed all three free throws, and the Terriers went cold as well, missing nine straight shots in a nine minute, 53 second scoring drought.
The Apps took advantage and used a 14-2 run to trim the lead to 38-32 with 8:25 remaining. Williamson scored the last eight of the spurt for the Mountaineers.
With Wofford leading 48-40, Abraham was fouled as he knocked down a triple from the top of the key and made the free throw to trim the lead to 48-44 with 2:24 remaining. The Apps had a chance to get closer but missed a layup and two free throws on their next two trips down the floor.
Wofford outscored Appalachian State 21-5 over the game's first 10 minutes as the Mountaineers struggled from the field. After Jeremi Booth hit a 3-pointer, the Apps missed their next nine field goal attempts, and ASU would go on to finish the half 7-for-25 from the floor.
On the other end, Dahlman and Rundles combined to score 12 of the 21 points for Wofford. ASU used an 11-2 run to trim the lead to nine points with 5:30 left in the frame, but Wofford answered with seven straight points, with the last five coming from Rundles. The Terriers outscored the Apps 10-4 the rest of the half to lead 33-18 at the break.
Game Notes: It was Wofford's first appearance in the SoCon Tourney title game... The Terriers set a new school record with 26 victories... Wofford has won 19 of its last 20 games... It was the Apps first appearance in the SoCon Tournament title game since 2000, when they defeated Charleston 77-67... The Mountaineers are 10-4 in the SoCon Tournament under head coach Buzz Peterson... Prior to tonight, Sims had scored 69 points in his last three SoCon Tourney games.
2010 Southern Conference Men's Basketball All-Tournament First Team
Kellen Brand, Appalachian State
Donald Sims, Appalachian State
Andrew Goudelock, College of Charleston
Noah Dahlman, Wofford
Jamar Diggs, Wofford
2010 Southern Conference Men's Basketball All-Tournament Second Team
Tony White, Jr., College of Charleston
Ben Stywall, UNC Greensboro
Harouna Mutombo, Western Carolina
Tim Johnson, Wofford
Cameron Rundles, Wofford
2010 Southern Conference Men's Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player
Noah Dahlman, Wofford