No. 24 Wofford puts new ranking on line at Chattanooga

It's not new that Wofford is taking care of matters in the Southern Conference.

But the Terriers are in uncharted territory for their final week of the regular season.

Wofford (24-4, 16-0 Southern Conference) is in the AP Top 25 poll for the first time in program history, taking a No. 24 ranking into Thursday night's game against Chattanooga at McKenzie Arena in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Wofford is already assured the No. 1 seed for the conference tournament.

"But we have so much more to do," Wofford coach Mike Young said. "We don't hang regular-season banners around here."

Wofford's 15-game winning streak includes Saturday's victory at Furman, which was nationally ranked for three weeks earlier this season. The Terriers' streak is the second-longest in the country behind top-ranked Gonzaga, which has won 18 in a row.

Chattanooga (12-17, 7-9) has lost three of its last four games. The fifth-place Mocs are trying to clinch a top-six spot in the league so it has a bye into the quarterfinals of the conference tournament.

Wofford senior guard Fletcher Magee's 20.2 points per game rank second in the Southern Conference. He is tops in the league in 3-point baskets (126) and free-throw shooting (92.3 percent).

Magee rates seventh in Southern Conference career scoring with 2,373 points, a list topped by former Davidson standout Stephen Curry (2,635).

Yet contributions are growing, with sophomore forward Keve Aluma chipping in for 11 points in the Furman game.

"You've heard me say a lot of times, I have a very, very good basketball team and Aluma has been a big part of that since day one," Young said of the team's fifth-leading scorer.

Wofford won 80-69 against Chattanooga on Jan. 26 at home in the first meeting of the season.

Wofford is in the midst of playing its final three regular-season games on the road, with the game at Chattanooga followed by a trip to Samford before the conference tournament.

"It's hard to win on the road, but we have a special bunch," Young said.

Chattanooga, which has two home games remaining, is 8-4 at home.

"We have to give it all we got," Mocs guard David Jean-Baptiste said. "Two home games left. We have to play like we have none left and give all we got and leave it all on the court."

Chattanooga's Kevin Easley has scored 398 points, matching the program's freshman record. He's averaging a team-best 14.7 points per game. He is 11th in the conference in scoring and rebounding, averaging a team-high 6.5 boards per game.

The Mocs have had breakdowns on defense and in rebounding, proving costly too many times. That was one of the areas of concern after Saturday's 74-69 loss at Mercer.

"You have to be fed up with giving up offensive rebounds," coach Lamont Paris said. "What are you made out of? What is inside you? What are you made out of at the end of the day? ... We have to do some soul-searching to get that thing figured out. That is one of the more correctable things in the world."

--Field Level Media

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