Monday, March 9, 2015

SoCon Championship Preview

Wofford vs. Furman

Time: 7:00 PM
Broadcast: ESPN2

Previously: Wofford swept the seasons series. On January 22 in Spartanburg, Wofford beat Furman 74-49 in a game that really wasn't even that close. Furman shot 32.6% from the floor and Wofford shot 54.9%. The only Paladin in double figures was Stephen Croone with 17. Karl Cochran had 23 points. On February 28, Wofford beat Furman at Greenville, 62-60. Croone did not play in that one. John Davis III scored 20. Lee Skinner scored 17 and Cochran had 11, pacing the Terriers. The Paladins made just 5 of 12 from the free throw line while Wofford made 19 of 28. That was the real difference in this one.

Match-up: The Paladins confidence is new. After all, they lost by 35 just two weeks ago at UNCG. Then, they stunned Western Carolina at home and lost to Wofford by just two. That was enough to get the team believing and here they are, still believing. Kris Acox is playing as well as any big man in the conference right now, and Skinner against Acox should be one of the best individual match-ups in this game. Cochran and Croone are also very good. These two will both be trying to do it all. Can Croone score against Cochran? James Sinclair of Westen Carolina looked tired while Cochran had energy in Sunday's semifinal. Croone should be tired too. Will he have any more success against Cochran? He needs to. The key for the Paladins is coming up with enough offense to win the game. They have to play well enough on that side of the ball to win. They have struggled, even in this tournament, to do that consistently. One way to do that would be on the offensive glass. Acox and Kendrec Ferrara will be key in that. Spencer Collins may be on track to win the Tournament MVP for the Terriers. If he steps up, that is another offensive weapon for the Paladins to have to match.

Prediction: This one is intriguing. The best team in the regular season against the worst team in the regular season. It is the ultimate David vs. Goliath. Furman is good enough to keep this game close, especially with all the momentum they are carrying into this game. They are playing with so much confidence. The team is clearly showing that over and over again. However, they have to come up with a way to stop the Terriers offense and to score enough to win. That is really obvious, but it is also true. The Terriers offensive efficiency has been phenomenal in this tournament. Their defense has been phenomenal in this tournament. The Paladins will have to play an even better game than they have played yet to win this championship. To do that on their fourth game in four days seems really unlikely. Terriers 67, Paladins 56. 

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