The Wofford Terriers basketball team will open their 2020-21 season on Wednesday when they host the Toccoa Falls Screaming Eagles at Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium.
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The game (6 p.m. ET start time) won’t be on regular TV anywhere, but you can watch Toccoa Falls vs Wofford on ESPN+ right here:
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Toccoa Falls vs Wofford Preview
The Terriers closed their SoCon regular season schedule with a seven-game losing streak last year, finishing 8-10 in league play. But they rallied in the conference tournament, winning three straight to punch their ticket to the title game, which saw them fall 72-58 to the top-seeded East Tennessee State Buccaneers.
They finished their first campaign under head coach Jay McAuley 19-16 overall.
“Obviously, we lost a little bit of our confidence, a little bit of our swagger throughout the year,” McAuley told The Athletic. “What we always talk about at Wofford is being tough, being together. We just kind of focused on those two elements daily. I knew we weren’t too far off and that we just needed to see a few more shots go in and get a few more stops. And kind of recalibrate and refocus on what really, really matters on a championship team. Surely enough, our players rallied around that, and I thought we were playing our best basketball at the end of the year, which is all you can ask for as a coach.”
The Terriers have since lost their two leading scorers: guard Nathan Hoover (14.7 points per game) graduated and forward Chevez Goodwin (11.9) transferred to the USC Trojans. Guard Storm Murphy, now a senior, ranked third in scoring on last year’s squad (11.9) and led the team in assists per game (3.5).
“If we can be together in all areas of our program on and off the court, I think the winning will follow,” McAuley said, per The Athletic.
“We came up just short of that goal for Year 1. You could say, well, no one really expected you to be there. Well, we certainly did. The last several years, our goal has been to win that (SoCon tournament title) game. We’ve got to reflect on that and get better, so when we’re in that position again, we get over the hump.”
The Screaming Eagles, who hail from the National Christian College Athletic Association’s Division II, are winless in five tries so far this season. Alex Forde averages a team-high 16.2 points per game. The guard is hoisting 7.6 3-pointers per contest, connecting on 47.4 percent of them.
Toccoa Falls suffered its closest defeat of the season their last time out, falling 70-62 to the Truett McConnell Bears on Nov. 10.
“I couldn’t have asked for more from these guys,” Screaming Eagles head coach Leonard Epps said, according to the school’s athletics department website. “We are a young team that is learning a brand new system. We are always in the fight at the end of games. Being only a few plays away from victory is a win in this early part of our season. We have multiple underclassman that are getting invaluable experience that will translate once we get into region play. We are learning, growing and starting to believe.”