Isaiah Tisdale scored 24 points and top-seeded East Tennessee State defeated upset-minded Wofford 72-58 to win the Southern Conference Tournament on Monday night and earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Tray Boyd added 11 points for the Bucs, who become only the fourth team in conference history to win 30 games. It will be ETSU’s first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2017.
Seventh-seeded Wofford (19-16) was looking to become the first SoCon team since Clemson in 1939 to win four games to capture the conference tournament title after beating The Citadel, Furman and Chattanooga to reach the finals. The Terriers entered the tournament having lost their final seven regular season games, but found some magic in Asheville with an impressive tournament run.
But the Terriers appeared to run out of gas in the second half, falling behind by 15 when Jeromy Rodriguez scored an a spinning drive with four minutes remaining.
Chevez Goodwin had 18 points on 8-of-8 shooting from the field to lead Wofford.
ETSU shot 9 of 21 from 3-point range, while Wofford was just 6 of 25.
Tisdale was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
He came into the game averaging 8.8 points per game but had 16 points at halftime, helping the Bucs build a 36-31 lead. Tisdale did most of his damage with strong drives to the hole that got him to the free throw line, where he made 10 of 11 foul shots.
Teams that have clinched tournament berths:
Belmont, Ohio Valley
Utah State, Mountain West
Bradley, Missouri Valley
Liberty, Atlantic Sun
Winthrop, Big South