Sunday, March 9, 2014

SoCon Tournament Semifinals Review

Western Carolina 99, Davidson 97 (OT)

Key Stat:  Western Carolina 45.5% OR. The Catamounts came up with fifteen offensive rebounds and Davidson had just eighteen defensive rebounds. When you combine that with the Catamounts shooting over 50% from the floor and Brooks having four fouls (along with Droney and Gibbs fouling out), and everything broke right for Western Carolina to win this one.

Player of the Game: James Sinclair. Boggs and Sumler both played well. Sinclair scored 26 points with six rebounds and three steals. Sinclair was 10 of 15 from the floor and four of six from three point range. He also made two of three from the free throw line.

What It All Means: Western Carolina advances to the championship game with all of these seniors. This was this teams shot to win the SoCon. They are not going to be among the favorites next year, but the team is coming together at the right time. It will be anyone's championship game tomorrow, after a dramatic win tonight. The Catamounts played very well. For Davidson, this is a bittersweet way to leave the conference. They played so well for so much of this year, but couldn't put it together at the end of this one. Their defense, rebounding and Brooks foul trouble was their undoing. The Wildcats are likely to struggle for at least a couple of years in the Atlantic 10 and not be a real threat to win the conference and get to the NCAA. That makes this loss extra tough for the Wildcats.

Wofford 71, Georgia Southern 54

Key Stat: Terriers 49.1%. The Terriers shot very well from the field. When  the Terriers shoot that well, they are nearly impossible to beat. It's been that way for most of the year. This is yet another game where the Terriers showed offensive efficiency.

Player of the Game: Lee Skinner. Skinner came up with 15 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists. He did it all tonight for the Terriers. He had six offensive rebounds and shot 6 of 12 from the field. Skinner was everything the Terriers needed him to be tonight.

What It All Means: The young Terriers advance to the title game, and will be the favorites in the championship game. They played well offensively again, but really dominated defensively. The Terriers are a very good defensive team, and when they've been offensivley efficient, they've been nearly impossible to beat. This team has peaked at the right time, and faced a team coming off an upset in each game of the tournament and this is the first time they will be playing another team that received a bye.  For the Eagles, next year they will have both Hewitt and Eric Ferguson. They could make some noise in the Sun Belt next year. It's a shame the SoCon won't get to enjoy that display.

1 comment:

  1. John, what happened to the Tourney Challenge Standings?