Keydets Face No. 1 Wofford in SoCon Quarterfinals
Courtesy: VMIKeydets.com

VMI takes a season-best four-game winning streak into quarterfinals of the 2019 Ingles Southern Conference Men’s Basketball Championship presented by General Shale when it faces #22 Wofford Saturday at noon at the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville, North Carolina. The Keydets secured a trip to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2015 with a 96-83 win over Western Carolina Friday night. The game tips at 12 p.m. and will be broadcast on NexStar/ESPN+.

 

Last Time Out: VMI 96, Western Carolina 83 - Friday, March 8

Bubba Parham and Sarju Patel combined for 63 points to lead the Keydets past Western Carolina 96-83 in the first round of the 2019 Southern Conference tournament in Asheville. Parham tallied a career-best 41 points, while Patel added 22, also a career-best. Carlos Dotson led the Catamounts with 27 points and 13 boards. Kameron Gibson also topped 20 with 23. It was a back-and-forth game with three ties and 12 lead changes. The Catamounts led 46-45 on Marc Gosselin’s layup early in the second half. Myles Lewis answered for the Keydets, giving his squad the lead for good. It was still a three-point game after two Dotson free throws with just over 15 minutes to go. Parham hit a jumper to jumpstart a 10-0 run that ended with Garrett Gilkeson’s and-1 with 12:03 remaining. Six times Western Carolina cut the deficit to seven, but the Cats would get no closer. VMI won its third straight over the Catamounts after having swept WCU in both regular season meetings.

 

Last Meeting with the Terriers: Wofford 95, VMI 84 - Feb. 14, 2019

A furious second half rally wasn’t enough against the Southern Conference leader as VMI fell 95-84 to Wofford February 14 at Richardson Indoor Stadium. Wofford won its 13th straight game to run its SoCon league mark to 14-0, but not without a fight as the Keydets trimmed a 28-point second half deficit to single digits twice before regulation expired.VMI sophomore guard Bubba Parham pumped in 30 points –his sixth game of hitting or surpassing the 30-point threshold this season while sophomore guard/forward Myles Lewis scored a career-high 22 points to lead the Keydets. Fellow sophomores Sarju Patel and Greg Parham contributed 14 and nine points, respectively. Wofford (22-4, 14-0 SoCon) got a game high 19 points from guard Storm Murphy – 13 coming in the opening half – while shooting guard Fletcher Magee labored through a 6-for-14 shooting night, but made it count with five 3-pointers to finish with 18 points.  Both teams rode points off turnovers to spark key runs in each half. In the first half, Wofford converted 12 VMI turnovers into 20 points to build a 53-28 halftime lead but in the second half the Keydets turned the tables by parlaying 10 Wofford turnovers into 23 points. Wofford shot 15 of 20 from 3-point range for 51.7% as seven different Terriers connected from beyond the arc. The Keydets (7-18, 1-12) shot a season-best 57.6% from the floor for the game after going 22 of 34 in shooting (64.7%) in the second half.

 

A win over Wofford would ...

-- Move VMI to its first semifinal SoCon Tournament appearance since 2002-03.

-- Be the most wins in a season (12) since 2013-14.

 

Series History – VMI vs. Wofford

This will be the 22nd meeting between the teams that first met in 1970. Wofford leads the series, 15-6, and has taken the last 12 meetings including wins 92-53 (Spartanburg, SC) and 63-46 (Lexington, Va.) last year and 90-76 in Lexington and 95-84 in Spartanburg this year. VMI last defeated the Terriers, 69-60 on February 10, 2001 in Lexington. The teams have met once before in the SoCon tournament with the Keydets falling in the first round to the Terriers 81-72 in Greenville, South Carolina.