Jan. 20, 2014
Spartanburg, S.C. - Trey Sumler scored 15 of his 20 points in the second half leading Western Carolina's late comeback attempt midway through the frame that fell short as the Catamounts suffered a 71-60 loss - their first Southern Conference loss of the season -- at Wofford Monday night in the Benjamin Johnson Arena.
Western Carolina controlled the majority of the first half as the Catamounts held a 21-17 lead with just over six minutes to play before the break. However, Wofford heated up missing only two shots, one field goal and one free throw, over the final six minutes as the Terriers closed out the half on a 16-5 run to take a 33-26 lead into the intermission.
Wofford continued to open up the margin early in the second half extending the gap out to 18 points 50-32 with 14:13 left. Still trailing by 18 points, 54-36, at the 12-mintue mark, WCU found its rhythm on offense and picked up its defensive pressure as the Catamounts strung together a 19-3 run over the next six and half minutes to cut the Terrier lead down to two points, 57-55.
Wofford's Karl Cochran drained a 3-pointer to halt the run the take the Terrier lead back out to five points, 60-55, with 4:28 remaining. The basket was Wofford's first points since another Cochran triple six minutes prior.
Cochran's basket proved to be the dagger as the Catamounts were hampered by four turnovers over the final three minutes, while the Terriers sank six of their eight free throw attempts -- five from Spencer Collins -- during the same time frame to secure the 11-point, 71-60, win.
Playing on the road for only the second time during its SoCon winning streak, Western Carolina struggled to score shooting only 32 percent from the floor, 20-of-63, including a 26 percent mark, 9-of-35, in the second half. Wofford, meanwhile, made 22 of its 49 shots from the field for 45 percent including an 11 of its 23 second half attempts for 48 percent. The Terriers outshot the Catamounts from beyond the 3-point arc knocking down 50 percent, 5-of-10, of their long range shots compared to a 32 percent, 7-of-22, ledger for WCU.
Both teams were efficient from the free throw line with WCU holding a narrow edge in percentage, 81 percent to 73 percent, but Wofford had more attempts converting on 22 of its 30 trips to the line. The Catamounts made 13 free throws in only 16 tries from the charity stripe.
Led by Mike Brown's 10 rebounds - six of the offensive variety - the Catamounts controlled the glass 41-34 including a 17-7 advantage in offensive rebounds.
Sumler and James Sinclair, who added 13 points, combined to shoot 12-of-23 from the floor leading to 33 WCU points, while the rest of the Catamount starters were only 2-of-18 from the field for seven points. Sinclair also anchored the WCU defense with four of the team's eight take-a-ways on the evening.
Wofford on the other hand, received 54 points on 17-of-36 from its starting five led by Cochran's game-high 23 points. Cochran alone made nine of his 18 attempts from the field including two of his three 3-point attempts. He also made both of his free throw attempts. Spencer Collins chipped in 15 points, while Lee Skinner collected a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. He is only the fourth player to accomplish that feat on the Catamounts in 20 games this season.
Western Carolina returns to the Ramsey Center where WCU will put its unbeaten home ledger on the line Thursday night with Davidson at 7 p.m. The first 500 fans will received a free 125th Anniversary Western Carolina University white t-shirt as the school looks to White Out Davidson and honor its 125 years of academic service to Western North Carolina.
Western Carolina at Wofford Game Notes
- With the loss Western Carolina slips to 11-9 overall and 4-1 in the SoCon - suffering it's first loss of the season in Conference play ... WCU also falls to 25-20 against Wofford and 6-9 on the road ... The loss also snaps a two-game winning streak against the Terriers ... The Catamounts fall to 2-8 in road games.
- With his 20 points Monday, Sumler becomes the first Catamount coached by former Southern Conference Player of the Year and current assistant coach Anquell McCollum to pass him on the all-time scoring list ... Sumler has 1,779 career points and is sixth all-time, while McCollum slips to seventh on the list with his 1,777 career points;
- Sumler picked up his eighth 20-point game of the season ... It is also the 11th time he has led WCU in scoring on the year.
- James Sinclair tallied 13 points - his fourth consecutive game in double-digits matching his season long streak on the season ... Sinclair accomplished the feat in the WCU's first four games of the season.
- Mike Brown collected a career-high 10 rebounds ... He had six offensive boards and four defensive rebounds ... Brown is only the second player to secure double-digit rebounds in a game this season for WCU ... Brandon Boggs grabbed 10 rebounds against Limestone on November 26.
- Wofford's Karl Cochran scored a game-high 23 points against the Catamounts Monday ... It is the only the second time in the last seven games WCU had an opposing player score 20 or more points ... Georgia Southern's Jelani Hewitt scored 23 points in WCU's 68-67 win over the Eagles on January 11.
- Wofford's Lee Skinner collected a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds ... He is only the fourth player this season to accomplish the feat and the last player since Coastal Carolina's Michel Enanga recorded 10 points and 10 rebounds on December 4.