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Dancing again: Wofford clinches bid

Mar 10, 2015 - 1:50 AM Asheville, NC ( - Wofford is headed back to the NCAA Tournament, meaning the improbable run for Furman has reached its end.

Lee Skinner scored 17 points, Eric Garcia added 15 and the top-seeded Terriers beat the 10th-seeded Paladins 67-64 in the Southern Conference championship game on Monday.

Wofford (28-6) captured its second straight SoCon Tournament title and fourth in the last six seasons.

Geoff Beans scored 15 points on five 3-pointers to lead a Furman (11-22) team that had lost eight of nine heading into the tournament. After beating The Citadel in the opening round, the Paladins upset No. 2 seed Chattanooga and No. 3 seed Mercer to reach their first SoCon championship game since 2002.

Neither team led by more than six in a game that mirrored the regular-season finale at Furman, which Wofford won 62-60. The Terriers beat the Paladins by 25 points at home in late January.

Karl Cochran and Garcia drained back-to-back 3-pointers to put Wofford up 64-60 with 2:32 remaining.

After Daniel Fowler hit jumper in the lane for Furman, Spencer Collins lost the ball on a drive. Fowler then drove the baseline and went in for a layup, but C.J. Neumann blocked the shot.

The Paladins closed within 65-64 on a Stephen Croone layup with 13.7 seconds left after Garcia made 1-of-2 free throws. Garcia was fouled again and converted both at the line.

Cochran then blocked an off-balance 3-point try by Devin Sibley out of a Furman timeout, but the Paladins still had a pulse when Skinner, the SoCon Tournament MVP, missed the front end of a 1-and-1. John Davis III fired up a 3-pointer from half court that was short.

The teams were tied at 36 at halftime despite the Paladins shooting 59.1 percent and making 6-of-8 3-pointers. Wofford was active on the offensive glass, as it produced 14 second-chance points to keep pace with Furman.

Game Notes

Furman hasn't reached the NCAA Tournament since 1980 ... Cochran finished with 11 points and six rebounds ... Wofford scored 15 points off 10 Furman turnovers ... Croone had 14 points and five rebounds.