The Wofford Terriers exploded in the first half, especially from behind the 3-point arc, to notch its first Division I victory of the season in a 96-77 home rout of the Ohio Valley Conference‘s Austin Peay Governors on Thursday evening.
Wofford, bouncing back from a non-conference loss to the TCU Horned Frogs last Saturday, landed nine of 13 3-point attempts in the first half, including four made by Fletcher Magee and three from Jaylen Allen. The Terriers (4-7) also moved the ball well, and thanks to both senior point guard Eric Garcia and reserve Derrick Brooks, recorded an impressive total of 15 assists on 20 made shots.
The Terriers led 55-31 at halftime, and began the second half with a 13-2 scoring run.
Notching another standout performance was Wofford forward Ryan Sawvell, who scored 12 points in the first half and finished with a team-high 20. The Illinois native was 8-for-10 from the floor with three 3-pointers as well. (Wofford shot 13-for-24 on 3-pointers as a team.)
Austin Peay (4-5) entered the game fresh off a 98-58 trouncing at the hands of the Fort Wayne Mastodons, and failed to keep up with the Terriers’ attack despite having a key contribution from Josh Robinson for the second consecutive game against Wofford. Last season, in a home win for the Governors, Robinson dropped 30 points on the Terriers, which — much like this season — were uncharacteristically skidding through non-conference play.
Robinson scored 28 points on Thursday evening, including an 8-of-9 performance from the free-throw stripe, but the Governors could not match Wofford’s production. As a team, Austin Peay only made five 3-pointers in the game.
Kenny Jones scored 13 points for the Governors, while Chris Porter-Robinson added 12.
Bolstering Sawvell’s performance, Magee finished with 18 points for Wofford, including a 4-of-6 shooting night from behind the arc. Sawvell and Allen (15 points) both made three 3-pointers and Garcia (10 points, nine assists) landed two, as a total of five Terriers dipped into double-digits. Cameron Jackson was 6-of-9 from the floor with 14 points.
Austin Peay has a home game against the Evansville Aces this Saturday, while Wofford has just a pair of remaining non-conference games, both on the road. On Mon., Dec. 19, the Terriers visit Cliff Ellis‘ Coastal Carolina squad, and finish out the slate the following Thursday at the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Conference play begins Dec. 31 against the Mercer Bears.
– H. Hudson