SportsPulse: Saturday was all chalk for the most part with Ja Morant and Murray State bowing out of the tournament. Trysta Krick recaps the action and looks ahead to Sunday’s slate.
JACKSONVILLE — There is no good day for a 3-point shooter to go 0-for-12 on threes.
Saturday against Kentucky was the absolute worst time for Wofford’s NCAA 3-point record-holder Fletcher Magee to take and miss 12 3-pointers.
And even then, Wofford still made it a game, still had a chance to pull off the upset.
But the seventh-seeded Terriers fell short, losing to second-seeded Kentucky 62-56 on Saturday in a second-round Midwest Region game.
“If they hit a normal amount of threes, they probably beat us,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “Thank goodness they didn’t.”
But of the scenarios Wofford coach Mike Young pictured in a potential loss, Magee going 0-for-12 from deep wasn’t one of them.
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“Never in a million years,” Young said. “I had to keep going to him. I’ve seen him make too many.”
Magee, who has made more threes (509) than any player in Division I history, just couldn’t get one to fall against the Wildcats.
“It’s incredibly disappointing,” Magee said. “I feel like I make three of those, we win the game. A lot of them were good shots. They just didn’t go in.”
He finished 4-for-17 from the field with eight points. It was his third lowest-scoring output of the season and the second time in 35 games that he didn’t make at least one three. He’s had off nights before: 7-for-23 against North Carolina and 1-for-14 against Kansas.
Magee had a few open shots, but Kentucky played outstanding defense on him, using a heavy dose of freshmen guards Tyler Herro and Jemarl Baker Jr.
The Wildcats chased over screens and switched often to prevent Magee from getting any space to shoot. Magee also had to expend energy on defense guarding Herro.
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“We hoped our length would bother them,” Calipari said. “But we also knew we were just as afraid of (Nathan) Hoover, and he goes 6-for-9, 4-for-5 from the three. We talked about one (Magee), but we said the other one (Hoover) is an assassin, too. He just throws darts out there.
“But it was the effort and energy, and my hope is they got a little worn down because (our) guys did not stop. They just chased, and they knew they couldn’t let up in this game or they were going to score baskets because it’s how they play.”
Wofford proved it wasn’t a one-man show or a 3-point novelty team. Hoover scored 19 points, and Wofford trailed 54-51, 58-54 and 58-56 late in the second half.
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The Terriers, who led for 18 minutes in the first half, couldn’t get a stop or basket.
“We got a decent amount of looks, and we didn’t knock them down,” Magee said. “Some of it definitely was their good defense, and mainly a lot of it was just me being off my shot.”