It was only fitting that Coastal Carolina‘s Artur Labinowicz drained a long 3-pointer at the buzzer against the Wofford Terriers on Monday evening.
The game was a two-hour long shooting festival, a patchwork quilt consisting of run after run, much physicality and an ever-slim margin of error. Labinowicz’s shot would have fit into the madness nearly perfectly if it had forced overtime or won the game.
Unfortunately for the Chanticleers, it did fit into the madness perfectly — because before the heave, Wofford led by four.
Bolstered by an energetic second-half effort, Wofford’s Eric Garcia put up a career-high 23 points, and Fletcher Magee scored 27 points and connected on seven 3-pointers as Wofford outlasted Coastal Carolina 75-74 at HTC Arena in Conway, S.C.
Despite eventually trailing by 2 points at the half, the Terriers heated up late in the first half with three 3-pointers in as many possessions, with one from Garcia and two from freshman shooting guard Nathan Hoover, who had been relatively quiet from the field in Wofford’s last several matchups.
At one point, Wofford sustained an 18-4 run to come from behind and eventually lead by as many as seven points.
The Chants were able to scratch back, however, due in part to the play of Joseph Williams-Powell, who off the bench was 7-of-9 from the floor for 15 points with eight rebounds.
Garcia’s real magic came in the second half, which he opened with a 3-pointer and a layup on a Cameron Jackson steal and assist from the opposite end. The point guard scored nearly half of his 23 points in the period, and a falling-down lay-in from him later gave Wofford a lead with 12:44 to go.
As the two squads were locked at 58-58 at the under-8 minute media timeout, Garcia made a 3-pointer directly out of the break to match his career-high in points, only to set his new record while shooting free-throws several minutes later.
Additionally worth noting, Garcia dribbled the ball off his foot and committed a turnover midway through the second half — that was only the senior’s first giveway since playing TCU over a week ago.
Within the game’s final 4:30, Magee shot three 3-pointers, an abnormally-quiet Ryan Sawvell muscled in a big layup fed by Jackson on a broken possession, and Wofford held on for the one-point victory.
Jaylen Shaw led the Chanticleers with 19 points, and both teams hovered around 50 percent shooting in the game.
The Terriers will face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Thursday in a final out-of-conference test before entering SoCon play. Coastal Carolina is through with non-conference matchups, as it will next play Dec. 31 against the UT-Arlington Mavericks.