Cullowhee, N.C. – Western Carolina redshirt junior Mason Faulkner recorded a triple-double with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists as the Catamounts (2-1) toppled North Carolina A&T 90-64 in the Ramsey Center on Tuesday night.
Faulkner recorded the first triple-double during Western Carolina’s Division I era which began in 1976-77- and quite possibly the first in school history, according to available records.
While the weather outside was unseasonably cold, the Catamounts had a hot shooting night behind the arc with 15 3-pointers. Tuesday was the fifth time that the Catamounts have made 15 3-pointers in a game which is tied for fifth-most in a single game. WCU was 8-for-12 in 3-point attempts in the first half.
Ronald Jackson led North Carolina A&T (1-2) with 10 points. Webster Filmore had a team-best seven rebounds.
A 3-pointer from Andre Jackson got the Aggies on the board first with the visitors leading until a Halvorsen jumper put the hosts ahead 4-3 just under two minutes into the game. Following a Tyler Maye jumper that trimmed the WCU advantage to five, 12-7, at the 14:49 mark, WCU responded with a 9-2 run to lead 21-9 thanks to a Steger 3-pointer with 11:19 remaining in the first half. Steger’s 3-pointer with 8:42 remaining in the stanza gave WCU a first half-best 16-point lead, 31-15. The Catamounts led 43-31 at halftime.
Dotson opened the scoring with a layup 26 seconds into the second half and the Catamounts kept their foot on the gas, pushing their lead to a game-high 33 points, 81-48, with the second of two Kameron Gibson free throws with 7:49 remaining. Faulkner completed his triple-double with his 10th rebound with just under five minutes remaining. While North Carolina A&T went on a 7-0 run following the final media timeout, the final points of the game came thanks to junior walk-on Malik McCrimmon’s first career 3-pointer with 44 seconds to play.
The Catamounts outrebounded North Carolina A&T 40-26. The Aggies finished the game 27-for-65 (41.5 percent) from the field while WCU shot a season-best 58.8 percent from the field (30-for-51).
WCU opens a three-game road swing through the Sunshine State on Friday, traveling to Florida State for a 7 p.m. tip-off. The game can be seen on Fox Sports South.
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