Feb. 6, 2009
Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina and the Ramsey Center will be the site of a Catamount hoops double-header this Saturday (Feb. 7). The Lady Catamounts host arch-rival Appalachian State at 4:00 pm, with the men entertaining The Citadel Bulldogs in the night cap with tip-off scheduled for 7:00 pm.
Both games can be heard locally on WWCU-FM, Power 90dot5 in Cullowhee or online at www.WWCUFM.com. Fans can also catch the men's game on 680 AM WRGC (www.WRGC.com) in Sylva and 1590 AM WBHN in Bryson City. Live video streaming and live GameTracker options are also available online through www.CatamountSports.com.
Women's basketball junior Jessica Jackson and men's basketball sophomore Richie Gordon, who is coming off a career-high 22 points in Thursday night's win over Charleston, will be the featured players. Both will be available for post-game autograph sessions on the concourse.
The Lady Catamounts will look to halt a three-game slide against mountain-rival, Appalachian State. WCU (11-11, 7-6 SoCon) downed the Mountaineers earlier this season in Boone, 92-55.
On the men's side, the Catamounts have won six-consecutive home games - and three of their last four overall on the season. Western (12-10, 7-5 SoCon) will look to avenge a 66-52 road loss suffered two weeks ago at the McAlister Fieldhouse.
Saturday is an extra special day as Western Carolina will recognize both its men's and women's basketball alumni, with a special reception between games for alum and Catamount Club members. At half time of the men's game, there will be a special on-court recognition of the 50th anniversary of the 1958-59 Catamounts which won the school's first conference championship in the North State Conference.
The 1959 Catamounts, who finished regular season play ranked 10th nationally, won their first 13 games which continues to represent the longest winning streak in WCU men's basketball history. Led by WCU Hall of Fame coach, Jim Gudger, they finished with a 24-4 overall record, the best winning percentage in program history. Also, all five starters - forwards Dave Jones and Jack "Swede" Frauson, center Randall Shields and guards Harris Pryor and Dave Elmore - averaged in double figures and ranked among the conference's top 20 scorers.
The WCU Dance Team will also hold a youth dance clinic beginning at Noon at Reid Gymnasium. Participants will learn a dance routine with the members of the WCU Dance Team, and then walk down to the Ramsey Center at approximately 3:30 pm. The youth will then perform their routine with the WCU Dance Team at halftime of the women's game.
Also, immediately following the men's game Saturday night, comedian Buzz Sutherland (www.buzzsutherland.com) will perform free of charge.
Notes On The 1959 Catamounts:
* The 1959 men's basketball team is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Western Carolina's first men's basketball conference championship (North State Conference) as a four-year institution.
* The '59 Catamount won their first 13 games, the longest winning streak in WCU's men's basketball history, and finished with a 24-4 record, the best winning percentage in the program's history.
* The team won both the North State Conference's regular season championship (14-2) and conference tournament championship and had the top record in NAIA District 26 (24-3) and was ranked 10th nationally at the end of regular season play.
* All five starters - forwards Dave Jones and Jack "Swede" Frauson, center Randall Shields, and guards Harris Pryor and Dave Elmore - averaged scoring in double figures and ranked among the conference's top 20 scorers.
* The team gave up only 53 points a game, fifth best in the nation.
* Jack "Swede" Frauson was named All-North State Conference, NAIA All-District 26 and honorable mention NAIA All-America and finished in the conference top 10 in scoring and rebounding.
* Harris Pryor was named All-North State Conference and was the most valuable player in the North State Conference Tournament as well as the MVP of the Western Carolina Holiday Tournament.
* Randall Shields was All-North State Conference, second team NAIA All-District 26 and the conference's leading rebounder.
* Dave Elmore was named to the North State Conference All-Tournament team.
* Dave Jones was the team's leading scorer, was the conference's top free throw shooter was on the Western Carolina Holiday Tournament All-Tournament team.
* The other members of the team coming off the bench were Jackie Teague, Dink Dellinger, Bucky Pryor, Dave Ehle and the late Eddie Rudeen.
* The late Jim Gudger, the Catamounts' hall of fame coach and the winningest coach in WCU history, was named the conference and district coach of the year.
* The 1959 Catamounts finished regular season play ranked No. 10 nationally
Special thanks to former sports information director -- and current Director of the Cats' "W" Club -- Steve White for compiling the above information.