Wofford holds off Western Carolina for SoCon crown
Asheville, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Karl Cochran scored a game-high 23 points to lead Wofford to a 56-53 win over Western Carolina to claim the Southern Conference title and punch its ticket to the NCAA Tournament.
Cochran hit five 3-pointers while filling the stat sheet with five rebounds, four assists and four steals for Wofford (20-12), which advances to the NCAA Tourney for the third time in five years.
Lee Skinner added 11 points and eight rebounds in the triumph, as the Terriers overcame an 0-for-7 shooting night from second-leading scorer Spencer Collins.
Brandon Boggs paced Western Carolina (19-15), scoring 11 of his 17 points in the second half. The Catamounts nearly erased a double-digit deficit for the third straight night, but came up just short when Trey Sumler's leaning 3- pointer at the buzzer was off the mark.
Wofford started pulling away near the midpoint of the second half, as Jaylen Allen made a 3-pointer and layup to bookend a 12-2 burst. Sumler ended the flurry with his jumper out of the timeout, but WCU still trailed 44-35, with 8:04 left.
Boggs then scored six straight points around a Skinner layup before driving and dishing off to Tawaski King for a jam to pull the Catamounts within three, 46-43, at the final media timeout.
Cochran and Sumler traded 3-balls 10 seconds apart to keep the lead at three, but Skinner's jumper pushed it to 53-48 with 45 seconds to play.
Boggs' three with just under seven seconds left pulled the Catamounts within a point before Cochran calmly potted a pair of free throws at the other end for a 56-53 edge.
Out of a timeout, Sumler drove the length of the floor to the right wing, where he stopped and pivoted before leaning into his final attempt.
Wofford led 27-20 at halftime and never trailed.
WCU fought from behind to edge Elon and top-seeded Davidson to reach the championship game, while Wofford took down The Citadel and Georgia Southern ... The Catamounts shot just 3-of-18 from behind the arc ... King scored 10 points with a game-high nine rebounds ... Wofford turned it over just four times.