Game #9-446: Chattanooga Mocs at Wofford TerriersFebruary 16, 2013 7:00 pm
Benjamin Johnson Arena
As I mentioned in my last recap
, during the game between USC Upstate and Kennesaw State game it snowed. While I was watching basketball, two inches of snow fell on the ground in Spartanburg. I know Ray Curren is going to be amused by this coming from a place that had several cancellations due to three feet of snow in Connecticut
, but two inches of snow is a big deal in South Carolina. It is by no means unheard of though, especially in Spartanburg which is a degree of latitude north of where I live as well as 600 feet higher elevation wise. But coming out of the Upstate game, fans were stopping in their cars to take pictures of the snow everywhere. The snow only accumulated on the grass, meaning it was no danger for me driving a mile from Upstate to Taco Bell and then a mile after that to Wofford. But one possibility I had considered if I got bored in between games was to see a few innings of a baseball doubleheader between Wofford and Niagara. As you can see from this picture of the baseball field, that somehow did not happen as planned.
But now that I was safely on the Wofford campus, there was still plenty to do. Originally I had planned on seeing a women's game back at Upstate between the men's game and the Wofford game here, but as I mentioned before Upstate no longer does true men's/women's doubleheaders
. The women's game was moved to 5:30, so that meant hanging around Wofford's campus for a bit. And that would be more interesting with snow everywhere around. All of my favorite sites in Wofford's athletic complex were blanketed with snow. Here is Wofford's soccer stadium, with a snowman marching downfield apparently ready to play striker for the Terriers.
The soccer stadium had a sign advising visitors to stay off the field, so I did even though someone had to go on the field to make the snowman. I then decided to see what Wofford's football facility, Gibbs Stadium, looked like. That seemed to be where the action was on Wofford's campus this afternoon. I first settled for looking into the snow covered stadium outside before I saw the gates unlocked and people inside. When at Wofford football games, I have seen lots of kids on the hill behind one end zone using cardboard boxes to slide down the hill. In the snow and ice, that could make for some fun sledding! And when I got to that hill, cardboard boxes were scattered all around that allowed for anybody who wanted to go sledding to do so. I tried to do so, but I was not experienced enough to get good friction on the sled to go down the hill. Let's just say I was not ready to do some Olympic-style bobsledding or skeleton. I ended up settling for running down the hill and taking a baseball slide into the snow covered drop towards the football field. Here are some Wofford students showing how it's done
I finished my sledding by sliding down the hill and through a gate onto the field where there was another snowman. I decided to get a picture of myself posing with the snowman (first time I think I have gotten a picture of myself in a recap!).
But we were not finished with the snowman building. Here are some Wofford students quickly using up what was left of Gibbs Stadium's snow by rolling together two big snowballs to go on top of a failed attempt by somebody else in building a snowman.
And here are the students putting together a new snowman. I helped out as well, getting together red berries from the bushes surrounding the hill as well as packing in snow to get the snowman to stick together. I felt like a kid again at Gibbs Stadium this afternoon, experiencing snow in a different way than I had in a long time. When I was at High Point we got surprisingly little snow when I was there, so this was the best way to spend time between two Division I basketball games.
And here is the final product of our snowman! I heard one of the students calling this the "demon snowman with a demon baby" because of the red berries serving as eyes. The snowman at the soccer stadium had rocks as eyes, while the other snowman at Gibbs Stadium had snowballs for eyes. Branches were used as arms, while one student donated her hat to serve as the snowman's hat briefly.
Now here is one last shot of Gibbs Stadium. The field ended up having 2 ½ snowmen on it (hope CBS does not get any ideas from that). It was a great day to be outside in Spartanburg, even if it wasn't so for baseball to be played.
But now here is Benjamin Johnson Arena. You can see some snow looking outside the window of the building. But on the inside of the building there was no snow to be found. That was because we had a roof here unlike the other arenas, and we had a basketball game to play as Wofford took on Chattanooga.
And that is one reason why I love basketball. Unless the weather is like it was in Connecticut with the blizzard, the gym will always be open and you will always have a basketball game ready for you upon arrival. Wofford did get five innings from their doubleheader earlier in the afternoon before the snow made the field unplayable. But basketball is a sport played indoors. And the reason Our Game is an indoor one is because of weather like we had today in Spartanburg. When James Naismith invented basketball in Massachusetts back in 1891, he did so because it was something his YMCA students could do in the winter. Just sitting inside and doing calisthenics all day was too boring for those students, and that is how basketball quickly spread and became popular. That is the reason why baseball season does not start until mid-February, and why the pros don't start playing nationwide until early April is because it is too cold and icy to play outside during the winter. Football does not seem to care as much about that and to some extent neither does soccer as much although the European leagues'
seasons play fewer games in the winter than the fall or spring. For that matter, you could argue that basketball should be a year-round sport due to the unpredictable nature of weather in all seasons. As someone who also attends lots of baseball games, countless times baseball games are cancelled in the summer because of thunderstorms. But if you are at a basketball game, the thunderstorm will not bother you because the game is inside. In baseball, you can prepare to go to a big game and plan your day around it, only for the game to not happen. Unless something extreme happens, you will always get a basketball game in. And to me that is why basketball season is one of the best times of the year. The weather outside might not be any good, but when you are indoors the weather is not a big deal. And that is why we could play basketball today while college baseball's opening weekend had problems being pulled off.
So we indeed would be seeing some basketball today. Both the teams playing here had been struggling this season after being very successful in the past with winning the last four tournaments in the conference not by Davidson (Wofford in 2010 and 2011, and Chattanooga in 2009 and 2005). But the last time I saw Wofford, they lost on the road at The Citadel
. The last time I saw the Mocs play, they won the Dr. Pepper Classic that they hosted back in December. But the Mocs would enter this game in the bottom half of the Southern Conference as well. Wofford was 4-10 in the SoCon coming in, while Chattanooga was 6-7. I figured this would be a close game. Wofford had the homecourt edge while the Mocs had the better record. But Wofford in the first half controlled the game. The Terriers did not dominate, but consistently pulled away over the course of the first half. Wofford was able to get consistency with their offense playing efficient while controlling the tempo, just like Mike Young's teams did with players like Noah Dahlman and Cameron Rundles. Indiana Faithfull was able to show that he had a good game to go alongside his name, finishing with nine points and eight assists as he controlled the ball well. Wofford would enter halftime with a commanding 45-27 lead.
Chattanooga briefly was able to cut the Terrier lead to single digits five minutes into the second half. But Wofford stayed calm and kept making their shots to keep the Mocs away. Among other great players with a great name, Chattanooga's Z. Mason went 9 for 11 from the field to finish with 24 points. But Wofford's Karl Cochran was by far the player of the game. Cochran went 11 for 23 from the field, including 6 for 12 on #superhoop
attempts to finish the game with an eFG% of 60.9%. Wofford would push their lead back to over what their halftime margin was, leading by as much as 24 before putting their bench in with three minutes left. Wofford would go on to win 78-58. For the Terriers and their fans, it was great to have a game in the SoCon were they flat out dominated after having a bad stretch previously.
And it was a good day overall to be in Spartanburg for this ALL CAPS DAY (I did not do this recap in ALL CAPS like the last one because I used up my ALLCAPS duty in that recap. Plus Ray did not tweet the Valpo game that night
in ALL CAPS either). Here in Spartanburg, we got to see some snow. While it did snow in other parts of the state, Spartanburg had the only real accumulation. So this was the place to be to have a real winter experience, which I usually only get during Christmas vacations to the Midwest. But when it came game time, we had the roof to protect Our Game and see some basketball. And both Spartanburg teams came through with a win today. This was definitely one of the more memorable days of this season for me.
at WOFFORD 78, CHATTANOOGA 58
CHATTANOOGA 11-16 (6-8) -- G. McGhee 5-14 2-3 13; Z. Mason 9-11 3-4 24; S. Watson 0-3 2-2 2; L. Stokes 0-1 0-4 0; R. White 0-4 4-4 4; F. Cobb 0-5 0-0 0; D. Zlovaric 1-3 0-0 2; M. Bareika 0-3 0-0 0; C. Jones 1-3 2-2 4; E. Robertson 1-5 4-4 7; J. Bryant 1-1 0-0 2; A. Bran 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 18-54 17-23 58.
WOFFORD 11-17 (5-10) -- I. Faithfull 2-3 4-7 9; L. Skinner 4-6 0-0 8; K. Cochran 11-23 2-2 30; J. Byrd 4-5 4-4 13; A. Smith 0-2 1-3 1; C. Neumann 1-3 2-2 4; T. Wagener 3-4 0-0 9; S. Collins 2-4 0-0 4; J. Gordon 0-1 0-0 0; K. Hickson 0-0 0-0 0; Z. Korkowski 0-0 0-0 0; J. Long 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 27-52 13-18 78.
Three-point goals: CHAT 5-22 (S. Watson 0-2; M. Bareika 0-1; Z. Mason 3-3; R. White 0-2; A. Bran 0-1; F. Cobb 0-3; C. Jones 0-1; G. McGhee 1-5; E. Robertson 1-4), WOFF 11-22 (T. Wagener 3-4; K. Cochran 6-12; J. Byrd 1-2; I. Faithfull 1-1; S. Collins 0-2; J. Long 0-1); Rebounds: CHAT 32 (G. McGhee 7), WOFF 26 (J. Byrd 7); Assists: CHAT 8 (R. White 3), WOFF 19 (I. Faithfull 8); Total Fouls -- CHAT 15, WOFF 17; Fouled Out: CHAT-None; WOFF-None.