GAME NOTES: The Western Carolina Catamounts try to keep their perfect Southern Conference record intact, as they pay a visit to the Wofford Terriers on Monday night.
Sporting an unblemished conference record through four games, the Catamounts are actually enjoying a five-game win streak at the moment, thanks to a 67-64 victory over the Samford Bulldogs on Saturday at home. The team is a perfect 8-0 in their own building in 2013-14, but the road has been much less accommodating with just two of nine outings ending up in the win column for Western Carolina.
As for the Terriers, they currently own a 2-3 mark in SoCon play after bowing to Chattanooga on Saturday, 71-57. The squad has fallen in two straight and three of the last four outings overall.
First getting together in 1948 as members of the NAIA, these two squads have played a total of 44 games to date, with the Catamounts holding a 25-19 advantage over Wofford.
In a game that featured five ties and eight lead changes, Western Carolina did just enough to hold on for the win over Samford this past weekend. The hosts shot only 41.5 percent from the field and 7-of-21 behind the 3-point line, while the Bulldogs converted 5-of-16 out on the perimeter in the close call. James Sinclair led the offense for WCU with 15 points and seven rebounds, followed by Trey Sumler and Brandon Boggs with 13 and 10 points, respectively.
Through four conference games, the Catamounts are outscoring the opposition by 9.2 ppg, thanks to a defense that has limited those four foes to a mere 14- of-52 (.269) shooting beyond the arc and forced them into almost 17 turnovers per matchup as well. Sumler is responsible for 15.8 ppg and is by far the most unselfish performer for the Catamounts with his 21 assists. James Sinclair (12.8 ppg) has been a steady contributor.
Shooting only 33.9 percent from the field for the game, Wofford fell behind Chattanooga at home and never recovered, allowing the Mocs to tally 16 points off 15 turnovers by the Terriers. Karl Cochran scored a team-best 19 points and ripped down seven rebounds before fouling out, while Lee Skinner filled out his stat line with 11 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and three steals, followed by Spencer Collins with 10 points, but the latter shot just 4-of-15 from the floor.
The Terriers have three players scoring in double figures at the moment, led by Collins who has dropped in 13.2 ppg, followed closely behind by Cochran with 13.1 ppg, although the latter is shooting just 38.4 percent from the floor. Skinner completes the list with his 11.5 ppg and supplements that effort with a team-best 8.5 rpg for a group that is beating opponents on the glass by a scant 1.3 rpg.
With points being hard to come by for the Terriers (65.2 ppg), they cannot afford to have another poor shooting effort tonight if they hope to keep up with Western Carolina.
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