Wofford’s long-distance shooting the difference as VMI falls, 81-63

vmiSharpshooter Fletcher Magee scored 19 of his game-high 24 points in the second half, helping the Wofford Terriers pull away and spoil Senior Night for the VMI Keydets, 81-63, in SoCon basketball action Wednesday night in Lexington, Va.

Wednesday was a tale of two halves, as VMI (6-21, 3-13 SoCon) led by as many as seven in the first half before going into the locker room down one. Magee sparked Wofford’s (15-15, 10-7) 66.7% second-half shooting – including 8 of 13 from long range – by going 6 for 6 from the floor in the period to lead the visitors to the win.

In defeat, VMI was led by QJ Peterson’s 17 points, while Armani Branch (13), Julian Eleby (12) and Trey Chapman (10) also finished in double figures in Peterson, Eleby and Chapman’s final career game at Cameron Hall. Chapman also equaled a career-high with 11 rebounds.

Wofford also put four in double figures, with Cameron Jackson scoring 20 points to join Magee at or over the 20-point figure.

VMI led Wednesday’s for nearly the entire span of the first half. The Keydets took the game’s first advantage at 2-0 with 50 seconds gone by and led by seven, 25-18, after a fast break dunk by Peterson with 4:39 left in the half. Wofford closed out the period with a 13-5 run, however, and Magee’s three-pointer with 1:43 left in the half gave the Terriers their first lead, 31-30, at the break.

The Keydets scored the first five points of the second half and led by four on multiple occasions in the opening minutes of the period, but a three-pointer by Eric Garcia gave the Terriers a 42-41 lead. The visitors would not trail again as Wofford made 8 of its last 12 three-point attempts to pull away for the victory.

For the game, VMI finished 25 of 55 (45.5%) from the floor, but just 3 of 17 (17.6%) from three-point range. The Keydets made 10 of 15 from the foul line (66.7%). Wofford was 31 of 60 (51.7%), 12 of 26 (46.2%) and 7 of 9 (77.8%) in those statistical categories, and held a 36-26 edge on the glass as well.

Prior to the game, Peterson, Eleby and Chapman were honored with an on-court ceremony. Eleby and Peterson were presented with commemorative basketballs to recognize going over 1,000 and 2,000 career points, respectively, earlier in the season.

VMI basketball will return to action Saturday, when the Keydets travel to Greensboro, N.C. to take on the UNCG Spartans. Tip time is set for 5 p.m.


Postgame: VMI coach Dan Earl

“It was a tale of two halves. We were flying around on defense in the first half and doing a good job and we were right there. We came out in the second half and we started making shots, but we were trading baskets. Unfortunately, we went cold and they kept making shots. You have to tip your hat to Wofford – they play tremendously well in the second half.”

“I am proud of our seniors. It’s a weird dynamic in that this is their final game at Cameron Hall, but we still have a lot of basketball to play with two conference road games and then the conference tournament. That’s the way basketball works and stranger things have happened. If we continue to get better and learn from this, hopefully our seniors will have a lot more basketball to play. This isn’t like the final stop and hopefully our team will play hard for them throughout.”

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