Cullowhee, N.C. – Junior Matt Halvorsen led three Western Carolina players in double figures as the Catamount men’s basketball team defeated Bryan College 78-54 on Wednesday afternoon in a pre-Thanksgiving nonconference game in the Ramsey Center.
Western Carolina improves to 5-2. The game was considered an exhibition for Bryan and did not count towards their overall record.
Halvorsen tallied a team-best 16 points, going 6-for-13 from the field with four 3-pointers. Freshman Tyler Harris finished with a career-high 15 points and pulled down a career-best seven rebounds. Harris’ previous career highs were six points and five rebounds. Senior Carlos Dotson posted his second double-double of the season and the 15th of his career with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Reigning Southern Conference Player of the Week Mason Faulkner had a game-high eight assists and seven points, adding four rebounds and a pair of steals.
Austin Douglas led Bryan with 18 points and eight rebounds. Keaton Dotson also finished in double figures with 10 points.
The Lions scored the first five points of the contest before the Catamounts went on a 13-0 run capped by a Marcus Thomas 3-pointer at the 11:18 mark. Following a Douglas bucket that brought the Lions to within six, 13-7, WCU used a 16-3 run capped by a Dotson layup for a 29-10 advantage with 2:35 remaining. The 19-point lead was the largest for the Catamounts in the opening half. Harris made one of two free throws with four seconds remaining to give WCU a 34-17 lead at intermission.
Dotson completed a three-point play to open the second-half scoring, putting the hosts on top by 20, 37-17. K.J. Hawkins’ jumper with 14:16 remaining brought the Lions within 17, 48-31, with just over 14 minutes to play but the Lions would get no closer for the remainder of the contest. Adam Sledd gave WCU its largest lead of the game at 27 points, 69-42, thanks to his layup at the 3:52 mark. Jason McMillan’s 3-pointer with 34 seconds remaining served as the final made shot of the game.
The Catamounts held a 43-32 rebounding advantage and forced 16 Bryan turnovers. The Catamount bench outscored Bryan 35-19. For the game, WCU finished at 45.3 percent (29-64) from the field while the Lions shot at a 36.2 percent clip (21-58).
Following a break for Thanksgiving, the Catamounts open Southern Conference play on Tuesday, Dec. 3, hosting Chattanooga at 7 p.m. The Halftime Dogs Flying Disc show will perform at halftime. Catamount head coach Mark Prosser will take part in the first Inside Catamount Basketball show of the season at BC Outdoors in Cullowhee on Monday, Dec. 2.
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