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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Scott Kull: The new Director of Athletics
Abigail Taylor, Contributing Writer • April 16, 2024

Jumping Through Hoops

Lawren+Cooks+teammates+cheer+her+on.
Lawren Cook’s teammates cheer her on.

Terrier Basketball races through Thanksgiving 

Caption:  Guard Lawson Cook, ’22, looking to score while her teammates cheer her on.

Wofford Basketball season is back in full effect, as was evident in both the men’s and women’s teams continued play during Thanksgiving break. Both teams currently have 2-4 records. Neither team has played a conference game yet, but for both head coaches, playing a challenging non-conference schedule allows them the opportunity to evaluate their teams against stiff competition. 

“Our schedule has always prepared us for what we will face in SOCON play and this year is no different,” commented  Men’s Basketball Head Coach Jay McAuley. “These games help to challenge us in a lot of crucial areas so that we are conditioned to showcase the proper habits when it matters the most in league play.” 

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The men’s team opened the season with three consecutive home games, coming away with a 2-1 record after victories over Erskine and High Point before falling to William and Mary, 80-79. The team then hit the road for the Hall of Fame classic matchups against Butler and Missouri, followed by a face-off against South Florida before finishing the Hall of Fame schedule with a trip to Maryland-Eastern Shore on Nov. 26.  During their four-game road trip, the Terriers came away with 1-3, losing 80-61 to Butler, 75-56 to Missouri, and 69-55 to USF before beating UMES 67-42. 

A consistent bright spot for the Terriers this season has been the play of point guard Storm Murphy, ’21. Murphy is currently posting season averages of 15.1 points, 2.1 assists, and 2.1 rebounds a game on 58.5% shooting, including a 54.1% from deep, and a 100% free throw rate. His play has not gone unnoticed by Coach McAuley. 

McAuley: “Storm is the definition of a Wofford Basketball Player. He’s tough, smart, plays with a big chip on his shoulder and most importantly, he’s a winner. His development and growth comes from his daily work ethic and drive to be the best he can be.” 

As the Terriers prepare for three straight home matches against North Carolina Central, Gardner-Webb and North Greenville, the lessons learned from the tough road games early on are certainly not lost on the coaches or players.  

“I’ve learned that we have a highly motivated basketball team,” says McAuley. “They come to work every day trying to get better and prove themselves individually and collectively. They genuinely like playing for each other and being around one another, which makes them a pleasure to coach.” 

The women’s team started the season with three straight road games against Auburn, Wisconsin and Gardner-Webb before opening the home season with three straight home games before Thanksgiving break. Despite falling in all three road matches, the biggest lesson that the Terriers came away with after a tough road season to open the year was, according to head coach Jimmy Garrity, “that it’s tough to win on the road.” 

Garrity: “But I think our team has handled it well, especially at Auburn and Wisconsin.…It typically comes down to doing the little things and taking care of the ball. If we can come up on the positive end on those, we give ourselves the best opportunity to win.” 

Leading the way for the Terriers are veteran guards Da’ja Green, ’21, and Cairo Booker, ’20. Garrity says that Booker, voted team captain by her teammates, “has really stepped up since the end of last season,” as reflected in her averages of 11.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 2.5 steals. On the other hand, with the return of point guard Elena Pulanco, ’22, Green has had less playing time  than she has in her first two seasons. Even though she plays 33.5 minutes a game, she still averages 11.7 points, 4.3 assists, and 3.7 rebounds in her time on the court.

Guard Lawren Cook, ’22, looking to score

“We have been practicing since September and will be playing in March,” says Garrity. “So, it’s going to be important for this team to give her some rest.”

The women will be at home until late December, a period that will see them up against the teams of Georgia Southern, UNC-Asheville and Erskine. Southern Conference play opens on Jan. 9 for the women as they host Samford and on Jan. 1 for the men when they travel to ETSU. 

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