Warriors fall to Wofford despite big first half

Jan. 2—CENTRAL — The Southern Wesleyan University Warriors were defeated in an Exhibition Game on Friday Afternoon by the Wofford Terriers. It was not nearly as comfortable as the Terriers expected it to be and the Warriors even led by 14 at halftime.

Southern Wesleyan was led in scoring by Che Smith with 14 points followed by Reco Hallmon with 9 and Griffin Effenberger with 8. Raevon Allen had a team-high 10 rebounds as well as 3 steals. As a team, the Warriors shot 22-62 (35%) from the field, 7-24 (29%) from behind the arc, and 4-6 (66%) from the free throw line.

Game Vitals:

Final: Southern Wesleyan University 55, Wofford College 75

Records: Southern Wesleyan University (2-10), Wofford College (6-6)

How It Happened:

The first half of this game was not only the most impressive half of the season so far, but it might have been the most impressive so far under Coach Brian Hewitt. The Warriors were terrific for the entirety of the first 20 minutes and played like the better team. Griffin Effenberger opened the scoring with a heavily contested mid-range jump shot, followed by a Che Smith 3 on the next possession.

Those two buckets were the start of a 10-0 run that the Warriors opened the game with which included them making 5 of their first 7 shots. At the 12:10 mark, Che Smith hit a second 3, this time coming from about 25 feet and increasing the Warriors lead to 20-6 with 12:10 remaining in the first half.

SWU went on a 4:13 scoring drought between the 10 and 5 minute marks, but their excellent defense allowed them to keep their lead. The Warriors regained their shooting form when Jamal Edmonson checked in for the first time at the 5:31 mark and immediately kick-started an 11-3 run scoring 7 over the next 4:07. That run gave SWU a 16-point lead which was cut to 14 by a Chase Cormier put-back layup sending the teams to the locker room at 34-20. Southern Wesleyan held Wofford to just 7-35 (20%) shooting from the field in the first half and got 7 Points from Edmonson, Reco Hallmon, and Aaron Tims.

Wofford, however, was much better in the second half. The Terriers opened with 5-0 and 7-0 runs that were separated by an Effenberger free throw and Smith 3. That quickly cut the Warriors' lead to 6 at the under-16 timeout. After Che Smith knocked down two free throws and Marcus Long made a layup, the Terriers hit 4 straight 3s to tie the game at 44-44 at the 11:46 mark.

Four possessions later, Kyler Filewich's bucket gave Wofford their first lead of the game. Filewich was a thorn in the side of the Warriors, particularly in the second half, as he finished with 10 points and 21 rebounds. The Terriers would only continue to add onto their from that point on the back of a 55 point, 55% field goal shooting half to seal the exhibition victory.

What's Next:

The Warriors return home to resume conference play against North Greenville on January 3.