William & Mary (4-4) at Wofford (3-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 7, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Benjamin Johnson Arena (3,500) -- Spartanburg, South Carolina. Television: None. Home Record: W&M 2-2, Wofford 2-0. Away Record: W&M 2-2, Wofford 1-4. Neutral Record: W&M 0-0, Wofford 0-0. Conference Record: W&M 0-0, Wofford 0-0. Series Record: Series is tied, 1-1.
GAME NOTES: The Wofford Terriers aim for a third consecutive victory today when they tangle with the Tribe of William & Mary in non-conference action from Benjamin Johnson Arena.
Wofford hasn't won three straight games since taking six in a row from Jan. 14-30, 2012. The Terriers are coming off a road win at Gardner-Webb on Wednesday, 65-62. Spencer Collins scored 14 points, while Jaylen Allen and Lee Skinner chipped in 11 apiece. Wofford shot 52.2 percent from the field.
The Terriers are averaging just 65.4 points per game and are shooting just 64.4 percent from the free-throw line. Wofford, though, is first in scoring defense among Southern Conference members at 65.9 ppg, but 10th in scoring offense. and 10th in free-throw percentage. What has been keeping the Terriers afloat is their defense, particularly out on the perimeter. They're limiting foes to the lowest 3-point percentage in the conference.
Individually, Collins leads the team with 14.3 points per game. Skinner (10.6) is the only other player averaging double figures and he paces the squad in rebounding (7.4 rpg). Karl Cochran comes off the bench for 9.6 ppg and has been shown to be a key contributor in the early going for a team that returned nine starters this year. That accounted for 90 percent of the scoring last season, but forward Aerris Smith is the lone senior on the roster. He averaged just 2.9 points a game last season even though he started 28 of the 32 contests. Fast forward to this season and Smith has been moved to the bench and is averaging just 1.7 points and 11.1 minutes per contest.
The Tribe suffered a 71-60 loss to Richmond on Wednesday. Marcus Thornton led the Tribe with 26 points. Omar Prewitt chipped in 10 points in a reserve role, but at the same time was charged with six turnovers. On the positive side, over the last three contests, the Tribe is averaging 11 made 3-pointers while converting 45.2 percent from long distance. The Tribe are on top of the CAA in field goal percentage (.471), assists per game (14.4) and steals per game (6.3), while ranking second in scoring (74.6), 3-point percentage (.374) and 3-pointers made per outing (8.1).
Thornton leads the way for the Tribe with 19.9 ppg. Omar Prewitt comes off the bench and is averaging nearly 28 minutes a game and 15.1 points. The only other double-digit scorer is senior forward Tim Rusthoven (13.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg). Sophomore swingman Terry Tarpey ranks second in the CAA in steals per game, and he is averaging 6.9 points and 6.4 rebounds per outing.
These teams match up well, but if Thornton gets in a groove offensively, it may be tough for the Terriers to contain the Tribe. Thornton leads the CAA in scoring at the moment, and today should mark the 41st straight game he'll reach double figures. That should be just enough for the Tribe to overcome Wofford.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: William & Mary 73, Wofford 72
12/07 10:33:29 ET