UNCG falls short in bid for return to NCAA tournament

After leading most of the game, the Spartans were beaten by Wofford for the Southern Conference title

Wofford's Nathan Hoover (10) battles UNC-Greensboro's Isaiah Miller and Wofford teammate Fletcher Magee for the ball during Monday's Southern Conference tournament championship game (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

ASHEVILLE (AP) — Fletcher Magee and Nathan Hoover each scored 20 points and No. 20 Wofford battled back to defeat UNC Greensboro 70-58 Monday night to win the Southern Conference Tournament for the fifth time in 10 seasons and earn an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Hoover scored all 20 points in the second half as Wofford (29-4) completed a perfect season against conference foes, going 18-0 in the regular season and winning three games in three days in the tournament.

Cameron Jackson added 15 points and seven rebounds for the Terriers. Magee was named Tournament MVP.

UNC Greensboro (28-6) led most of the game and was hoping to pull the upset and steal a tournament berth from a bubble team, but couldn’t hold the lead late in the second half.

UNC Greensboro led 55-50 with 5:41 left before the Terriers went on a 16-0 run, holding the Spartans without a basket for more than 4½ minutes.

Francis Alonso scored 21 points and Isaiah Miller had 19 for UNC Greensboro.

The Spartans, who lost by 30 and 29 to Wofford in the regular season, seized the early momentum building a 17-8 lead behind eight points from Alonso. They led 31-27 at halftime as Miller was 6 of 6 from the field.

But Hoover brought the Terriers back on two different occasions.

He scored eight straight points to give them their first lead at 50-49 with 12:30 left in the game.

Then, with his team down five, the junior guard made a floater, a 3-pointer and three foul shots to put Wofford up 58-55 with 3:23 left in the game. A minute later he got a steal in the frontcourt and converted two foul shots to put the Terriers up by seven.


UNC Greensboro: The Spartans played a near-perfect game for 35 minutes but went cold down the stretch, perhaps the result of having a short bench. Alonso and Miller attacked the basket well, taking advantage of their playmaking ability.

Wofford: The Terriers have won 20 straight games heading into the NCAA Tournament and on Monday claimed their highest AP Poll ranking in school history at No. 20. With a tough inside-out game and strong backcourt play, the Terriers will be a popular pick in the NCAA Tournament.