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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Farewell, BenJo!

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By: Sarah Madden, Senior Writer

On Feb. 18, 2017, nine Wofford seniors played their last games in the Benjamin Johnson Arena, but it was a bigger “last” than that. For both the men’s and women’s teams, it was the final game to be played in the beloved “BenJo”… ever.

The women’s team fell to Samford 48-55 after rallying to take the lead late in the fourth quarter. Senior Grayson Pinholster’s 10 points included her first three-pointer of the season, and she also achieved a team high seven rebounds in the effort. Sophomore Chloe Wanink led the Terriers with 15 points. The team honored five seniors: Pinholster, Amoshia Blakeney, Maria Corella, Sarah Traynor and Kentra Washington.

The men’s team recognized five seniors, too: the late Jeremiah Tate ’17 and his jersey number, 12, was featured on the shirts worn by Jaylen Allen, Eric Garcia, Ryan Sawvell and Eric Wagenlander during the warm-up and senior recognition ceremony.

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In the 84-56 win over the WCU Catamounts, all four seniors started—Wagenlander’s first career start. With his 19 points against the Catamounts, Garcia reached 1,200 points and 500 assists and is the first Wofford player to do so. Four Terriers scored in the double digits, including Garcia, Sawvell, sophomore Fletcher Magee and junior Cameron Jackson.

In a way, the last game seemed like any other, but each moment was somehow more important: basketball alumni in attendance were honored before starting lineups were announced; the final McDonald’s cheeseburgers, t-shirts and tiny basketballs were were chucked into the packed crowd; the BenJo Farewell countdown display finally reached zero; the alma mater rang out one last time as students, fans and student-athletes swayed from side to side; the seniors kissed the floor; the crowd filed away to the sounds of “Closing Time”—and that was that.

Farewell, BenJo.

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