Jan. 18, 2013
Birmingham, Ala. - Holding Western Carolina scoreless for nearly eight full minutes in the second half, Samford used an 11-to-0 spurt to erase a seven-point Catamount advantage before holding on for a 64-60 victory Thursday night in Southern Conference action at the Pete Hanna Center.
Early in the second half, WCU broke the game's sixth tie with six-straight points capped by a steal and lay-up by Trey Sumler to move ahead, 49-42, matching its largest lead of the game at seven. However, the Catamounts would be held off the scoreboard from the 16:20 mark until Brandon Boggs sank a jumper with 8:34 to play allowing the 11-straight points by the Bulldogs.
Samford's Clide Geffrard converted an offensive stick back at the 11:38 mark to hand the Bulldogs a two-point, 51-49, lead they would never relinquish. The home squad maintained at least a one-point lead the rest of the game, building a game-high six-point edge inside the closing seconds from the free throw line.
All told, WCU - which dropped its second-consecutive league game - only managed to connect on two of its final nine shots from the floor over the final five minutes with Samford holding at best a two-possession lead.
Junior post Tawaski King led three Catamounts in double figures with 14 points on a perfect 7-for-7 shooting performance. The Dublin, Ga., native added six rebounds including three on both ends of the court. Boggs had 13 points and a team-high seven rebounds while Trey Sumler scored 13 points.
Tim Williams posted a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead Samford. Raijon Kelly scored 10 points and Geffrard had seven points and seven rebounds for the Bulldogs which won their third-straight SoCon game. Connor Miller hit three 3-pointers to finish with nine points.
Western Carolina (7-11, 4-2 SoCon) managed a seven-point edge in the first half after Alabama-native Rhett Harrelson buried a triple off a dish by James Sinclair to put the Catamounts ahead, 29-22, at the 5:57 mark. But 3-pointers on two of their next three possessions helped keep the Bulldogs close and Samford trimmed the deficit back to even at intermission.
Samford (6-12, 4-1 SoCon) shot 7-of-17 (41.2%) on 3-pointers compared to WCU's 2-of-12 (16.7%). The Bulldogs outrebounded the Catamounts 33-25, including a 15-to-7 edge on the offensive glass.
Western Carolina returns to action on Saturday night, traveling to Chattanooga to face the Mocs at McKenzie Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 pm.
Western Carolina at Samford - Post-Game Notes:
- Western Carolina had its three-game winning streak over Samford snapped with Thursday night's four-point road loss to the Bulldogs ... WCU leads the all-time series with Samford, 8-3, overall, but slipped to 2-3 all-time in Birmingham ... the Catamounts have won six of the last eight meetings overall;
- WCU shot 50.9-percent from the floor on Thursday night, the second-highest field goal percentage for the Catamounts this season - and the most against a NCAA Division I foe as their seasonal-best came against Mars Hill;
- The Catamounts only made two 3-pointers on Thursday night at Samford ... It was the third time this season WCU was held to 2-or-fewer treys in a game ... WCU is 1-2 on the year when making two-or-fewer 3-pointers in a game ... WCU's 16.7-percent shooting from long range matched its second-lowest output of the season (at Tennessee);
- Post Tawaski King led the Catamounts with 14 points, shooting a perfect 7-for-7 from the field ... King returned to double-digits for the first time in four games ... It was also just his second double-digit scoring effort in the past eight games after opening the season by scoring in double figures in 10-straight games - 11 including the finale of the 2011-12 season;
- Scoring 13 points on Thursday night, WCU redshirt junior Trey Sumler now has 1,164 career points, moving into 28th place on the school's all-time leading scorer chart ... Sumler moved past former WCU guard Casey Rogers who scored 1,159 career points from 1999-2002.